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Inventory, Where Art Thou?

The market stats confirm what we already can sense … there’s just not that many homes for sale right now!

Only 4,000 homes were listed in the DC area in January, according to Real Estate Business Index (RBI). DC area new listings fell 4% compared to January 2012—which doesn’t sound like a big deal. But compared to January 2008, listings were down 62%. That’s a HUGE difference. Check it out in the graph below.

New and Active Listings January 2008 – January 2013

So what does this mean for buyers and sellers?

You’ll see more of a seller’s market continue in the coming months since home prices are likely to rise because the smaller inventory will force buyers to compete for whatever homes are for sale. In fact, median sold prices in the DC metro area have risen 10.71% since last January.

The good news is that the DC metro market continues to show gains in home values, there’s greater confidence in the market, and buyers can still find affordable homes when coupled with today’s low mortgage rates. However, serious buyers do need to move quickly and be prepared to purchase at listing price or more in many neighborhoods.

The following graphs will provide even more details on the current market. Plus, these graphs are interactive so you can click and get exact numbers when you touch the bars.

Median Sold Price

With an average 10.71% increase in median sold prices from last year, all home types saw a gain in prices. The median sold price for condo and coops for January was $260,000, an increase of 13% from January 2012. For attached/townhouse properties, the median sold price for January was $340,000, an increase of 13.3% from January 2012.

Average Sold to List Price Ratio

With fewer inventory on the market, sellers are getting close to listing price with 95%+ OLP ratio for all home types. This trend has continued into 2013 from 2012, which has been holding steady since August 2012.

Days on Market by List Price

Despite the holidays and winter season, the days on market for many homes was below the 5-year average in January. This number could even drop more with warmer and busier months approaching.