Real Estate Wrap-Up

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BROKERS CHECK IN

Throughout the year, The Georgetowner seeks comments from real estate professionals on the state of the market.

How would you describe Washington, D.C., in terms of national housing trends for 2020?

Washington, D.C.’s market has been strong for more than 10 years, but I expect it will continue rising to the top nationally. What I see in the D.C. Capital Region’s future real estate market is buyer confidence. It trickles down beginning with many cranes in the air and major construction, which is a sign that the powers that be are investing in the future of the city, which will expand into its bedroom communities of Virginia and Maryland. Buyer confidence jump-started just a few years ago as Amazon chose the Capital Region for HQ2. At Washington Fine Properties, this 2020 buyer confidence level is documented by our best January ever in all price ranges.

— William F.X. Moody, Managing Partner, Washington Fine Properties, LLC

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Inventory shortages and rising prices have been the trend nationwide, and we’re experiencing the same here in the nation’s at high numbers, but I wouldn’t categorize them as the sky is the limit.— William F.X. MoodyIt’s supply and demand, and with limited properties on the market, sellers have the advantage. As inventory goes up — whether with new residential developments coming to completion or owners making a move — those prices will moderate. Most real estate analysts predict stable price growth across the country this year, and D.C.’s likely to see the same.— Lonnie PlasterWhat is the one crucial thing buyers and sellers misunderstand about the 2020 real estate housing market?The idea that Washington’s housing market is transformed in an election year — particularly if the party in charge changes — is a lingering misconception. People who move to the D.C. area to work in politics typically stay here, but a presidential election year can inf luence the market. Often, you’ll see downward pressure on consumer confidence in the fall before the election, because people don’t know what to capital. In the Capital Region as a whole, we ended last year down 40 percent in homes for sale compared to the year prior, according to Long & Foster’s 2019 Year in Review Capital Region Market Report, and we don’t expect inventory to increase much this coming year. Likewise, prices have been rising, and D.C. in particular has seen double-digit growth in median sale prices, according to our latest Market Minute.

— Lonnie Plaster, Senior Vice President/Regional Manager, Washington, D.C./Montgomery County, Long & Foster Real Estate

 

It seems that the sky’s the limit when it comes to home prices in Washington, D.C. Is that, in fact, true? And when will too much become too much?

Not sure I agree with this beyond a few ultra-ultra-luxury sales that occurred on Virginia’s Gold Coast. Beyond those few waterfront sales, the remaining ultra-luxury sales over $10 million that have occurred in recent months frankly represent properties that have been for sale for several months and did not achieve asking prices or very close to them. In summary, we are fortunate in seeing an upswing in ultra-luxury sales at high numbers, but I wouldn’t categorize them as the sky is the limit.

— William F.X. Moody

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It’s supply and demand, and with limited properties on the market, sellers have the advantage. As inventory goes up — whether with new residential developments coming to completion or owners making a move — those prices will moderate. Most real estate analysts predict stable price growth across the country this year, and D.C.’s likely to see the same.

— Lonnie Plaster

 

What is the one crucial thing buyers and sellers misunderstand about the 2020 real estate housing market?

The idea that Washington’s housing market is transformed in an election year — particularly if the party in charge changes — is a lingering misconception. People who move to the D.C. area to work in politics typically stay here, but a presidential election year can inf luence the market. Often, you’ll see downward pressure on consumer confidence in the fall before the election, because people don’t know what to expect in the next four years. That’ll often lead to a slowdown in sales in the fall and then an increase in December.

— Lonnie Plaster

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I think the one crucial misunderstanding buyers and sellers have in 2020, and frankly have been struggling with for a few years now, is that there have to be documented credentials justifying the value of a home purchase. Whether it be recent sales in similar price ranges and areas, units sold or comparable house sales, all of these factors contribute to documented value information. For the first eight years in the early 2000s, those credentials weren’t as necessary. Buyers would pay numbers because they were confident it would be worth more next year either way. What we experienced was emotional sales: “I love the house,” “It works perfectly for our family,” etc. That has been gone for more than 12 years now, and it’s our job as realtors to help buyers and sellers still feel at peace with their investment. Most of the emotions of real estate purchases today have pushed aside by financial prudence.

— William F.X. Moody

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