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Don’t believe everything you hear

D.C.-area housing market bucks national trends

Created date

September 20th, 2011

Hidden amidst dismal national real estate news, a gem sparkles for those looking to sell their house in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. According to Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller s most recent housing index, home prices in the Washington, D.C., metro area climbed 1.4% this June from the previous year. The index, considered to be the most reliable measure of overall home price changes, also illustrates that prices in the D.C. region grew 1.3% in the last year, while the rest of the country saw a decrease. The current Washington, D.C.-area housing market has been pretty well-insulated from the volatility that has impacted the nation, as a whole, says Washington-area Long & Foster real estate agent Jenn Klarman. We continue to see well-priced, good-looking homes going under contract within days of being listed for sale, she adds. This is helped by the fact that interest rates remain at an all-time low, buyers have access to excellent programs, and we re enjoying well-qualified buyers who are out there shopping. I was so surprised by how quickly our house sold, says Marguerite Cruse, who put her Arlington, Va., house on the market earlier this year before moving to Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va. As soon as we put it on the market, we had two offers. I didn t think that happened anymore. After spending the last 52 years in my house in McLean, Va., I had no idea what buyers were looking for, says fellow Ashby Ponds resident Helen Clohan. But I put my trust in my real estate agent and had a contract in less than 24 hours. From everything I had heard in the news, that was completely unexpected.

Further investigation

As reported by Case-Shiller, the positive reports in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area have generated other new studies into the area s triumphant real estate revival. According to a Real Estate Business Intelligence Study by housing market expert Jonathan Miller, this past June, Washington, D.C., housing sales reached their highest June total in more than six years. Median sale prices also continued to rise in June, reaching their highest level in three years.

Real life home, real life sale

The strong demand for labor continues to cause the D.C.-area housing market to buck national housing sales trends. Currently, the district ranks no. 1 among metropolitan areas for job growth in the country. As a result, sellers do not have to spend their savings preparing or staging their home to attract potential buyers. When it came to selling our Annandale, Va., home we weren t interested in putting the money into preparing it for sale, says Paul Kulp. And our Erickson Realty and Moving Services recommended real estate agent assured us that we didn t need to. Within four days of putting our house on the market, we had three offers, allowing us to sell for above our asking price.

Moving made easier

I meet with an average of 20 people a week who are very interested in moving to Ashby Ponds, says Dana Bradshaw, sales counselor for the Erickson Living community. Often, they share with me their concerns about selling their current house. I m happy to give them the encouraging news regarding the D.C.-area housing market. In fact, at Ashby Ponds, the state of the national housing market has done little to stymie the growth of this vibrant community. Next spring, a new residence building, Red Robin View, will open, providing 80 new homes for those wishing to enjoy the Erickson Living lifestyle in Loudoun County. The desire to live in Loudoun County, located approximately 20 miles from the heart of Washington, D.C., has buoyed the county s real estate outlook even more that the region s impressive numbers. According to the Real Estate Business Intelligence study, in July 2011, total sales volume in Loudoun County rose 11.11% over last year, compared to the metropolitan area s 1.46% increase. My advice to sellers is now is a great time to sell, says Klarman. Buyers have been sitting on the fence for some time now, waiting for the bottom. They want to buy. And, they re buying at all times of the year. Klarman encourages anyone interested in taking advantage of the rebounding D.C. market to take the first step and contact a real estate agent.