Monday, November 14, 2005

Housing Market Cooling, Data Say

Um, okay. Now some would say that property losing 12% in 6 months was more like a bubble bursting, than 'market cooling' but in today's new business ruled USA, I guess words mean what the Jabberwocky wants them to mean.

Lynn Edmonds and his wife, Sebnem, could barely wait to sign on the dotted line back in May when they committed themselves to pay $796,000 for a three-floor townhouse under construction in Alexandria's Cameron Station.

But since May, the sales prices for the development have fallen -- and units like the one the Edmonds bought are now being sold for $699,900. The Edmonds are facing the prospect of a $100,000 loss in value before they even walk through the front door.

Okay, maybe the writer did what writers do and picked the most exagerative example out of a pile. Lets carry on and hope this is not indicative.


In the two counties and three cities that make up the Northern Virginia market, more than twice as many homes were available for sale in October as in the same month one year ago -- 7,122 homes, compared with 3,254 -- and sales are off 28 percent.

In the District, listings are up 62 percent and sales are down 28 percent.

In Montgomery County, listings are up 49 percent and sales are down 8 percent.

In Prince George's County, the listings are up 45 percent. But home sales have remained fairly stable, dropping only 2.6 percent.

The last time the region had this many houses for sale was the late 1990s, the MRIS figures show .

back to below
The late 90s! Oh no! This is Northern Virginia. And the late 90s is the time before the government was put up for sale to the biggest campaign contributors.

Something must really be terrible wrong!

But lets not get panicky.

Many local real estate agents say the market is returning to normal. "We're rebounding in terms of evolving to something close to a balanced inventory," said David Howell, a past president of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors and executive vice president and managing broker at McEnearney Associates Inc. He said the true aberration occurred from 2003 to early 2005, when the number of listings fell to record lows, causing what he called "unbelievable and untenable" increases in appreciation.

Ah! the market is rebounding by cooling! I'm sorry, we've not landed in Wonderland. No, we're right in downtown 1984!

back to below
Mr. Howell is probably correct that the DC area should maintain its value. Unless something major changes, we can expect government to favor the rich and powerful and they will drive the prices up. I'm not the only one who thinks so. See this.

And, anyway, we don't really expect realtors to be completely honest with us do we? Well, some do. That's how they get stuck buying at the top of a market and according to the article that includes even some realtors.
Housing Market Cooling, Data Say

Excerpt new article:
Tommy Ellis, a principal in Carlyle Group, stands in a field of grass and brush at routes 28 and 50 in Chantilly, where the worldwide investment company plans to construct two five-story office buildings, with tenants as yet unsigned. The air is heavy with confidence.

District-based Carlyle is among a handful of developers preparing to build here at Westfields Corporate Center, and while each project has its own distinctions -- Carlyle is offering high security, for example -- they incorporate a new reality about the commercial real estate market in Northern Virginia: Building on speculation is back, thanks to the boom in government contracting.

Wa'd I say, eh? (Okay if you don't know already what I'm talking about see above 1 and 2.

Latest excerpt from: Will They Come?

Back to: "See this." above.

More DC property market info.


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