Bethesda-Chevy Chase Pre-Spring Market Activity

bigstock_Springs_177250As we approach the spring, not surprisingly, real estate activity has been picking up in the Bethesda/Chevy Chase marketplace.  Certainly, the lack of inventory has been driving sales.  So what exactly has been happening? I decided it was time to look at the numbers and do some analysis.

Currently within the Bethesda/Chevy Chase zip codes (20814, 20815, 20816, 20817 & 20818) and since the start of the year, exactly 287 new listings have hit the market.  Of these 12 have sold, 85 are under contract, 178 remain active & 12 have withdrawn from the market.

While it’s challenging to compare the two years (mostly because this year has yet to fully play out), so far 2011 is looking really good when compared to the same period in 2010 (Jan 1- Feb. 27).

  • The average Days on Market in 2010 was 69.7.  So far in 2011 that number is closer to 42 (31 for sold properties).
  • In 2010 we had roughly the same number of listings- 289 vs. 287.
  • In 2010 a shocking (just shocking!) number of homes were withdrawn from the market or expired unsold – 92 total!  That’s almost a full one-third of the inventory. So far in 2011 there have been 12 withdrawals. This figure will surely increase over time, but I don’t expect it to even approach the depth of 2010.
  • 2 of the 2010 listings are still active and 4 remain under contract (two of these are bank sales).

A total of 191 homes sold in 2010 during this Jan-Feb spread.  Here’s the sales data:

  • Original asking price:                $898,195
  • Asking price at time of sale:      $871,091
  • Final sales price:                      $839,379

In 2011 active listings started off with an average asking price of $1,024,991.  That figure has since reduced to an average $1,006,315.  Of the 85 properties currently under contract, the average starting list price was $911,929 with a list price at time of sale slightly lower at $908,989. Sold properties had an average asking price of $999,483 and an average sales price of $961,750.

So, what can we gather from these numbers?

  • The houses currently under contract were clearly priced to sell.  With a mere $2,940 drop in asking price, at close to the original offering price these properties moved folks enough to make an offer.  Now, we have yet to see what the final sales price will be on these properties, but chances are it’ll be a big improvement over 2010.  It does signal an acceptance of current market values, and it certainly makes the real estate agents look pretty smart (and it’s about time!)
  • The houses that are selling seem to cover all price points. 26 of the 85 properties are priced at $600,000 and below.  18 are priced between $601,000 – $800,000.  13 are priced between $801,000 – $1,000,000.  9 are priced between $1,001,000 – $1,200,000, and the remaining 19 properties top $1,201,000 all the way up to $3,500,000.
  • It’s hard to properly evaluate the days on market, because even though these properties listed between Jan. 1 and Feb. 27, several of them were on the market at a prior point before re-listing during this period, and those days are included in the average.  As of this writing, there is a drop in the days on market in 2011 (roughly 42 for those properties under contract and 31 for those that have already sold… down from 69.7 days in 2010).
  • In 2010 sold properties received 94.1% of the original asking price.  So far in 2011 that number is 96.2%.  With an average sales price of roughly $1-million, that’s about a $21,000 improvement.  Good for sellers.  Not so good for buyers.
  • While I’ve been complaining lately about the lack of inventory, it’s not so different from 2010 (not exactly a robust year).  Perhaps I expect too much?  Certainly the decreased Days on Market contribute to the urgency some of us agents feel on behalf of our buyers as homes disappear quickly from the market.
  • I tried to dig up some figures comparing the number of 2010 listings under contract by Feb. 27 of the same year, but I’m limited by my MLS- or perhaps by sheer brain power?  I have yet to figure out how to coax this information from the system.  Consider it a work in progress.
  • Bridge loans have made a tentative return, so some of our trade up buyers are beginning to make a move, opening up the first-time buyer market a bit.  This is a welcome change.

So, take what you will from this information.  Makes for some interesting reading.  And if you have a house to buy or sell in the area, I know it pretty well.  I’d love to help you out.