Living in DC in the summer is always trying but this year it's a doozy. It's literally a concrete jungle as the temperature lingers in the 90's with no relief in sight. The heat induced torpor is obvious from the slow movements of DC residents to the state of the real estate market.
The big headline today is that "May New Home Sales Fall 33%, Surprising Everyone." Umm..it doesn't surprise me. I think everyone in the industry has been expecting this development. In my mind, the beginning of the year was bound to be decent. What I really wondered (as did everyone) was the state our business for the rest of the year. I think this stat backs up a lot of fears that have been percolating in the real estate industry.
As always, DC is insulated from some of the bumps in the road. People make a lot of money in DC. Most of my clients wouldn't/didn't benefit from the tax credit. The clients that could benefit took advantage of the credit. The others are still looking. I've seen interest in viewing property drop significantly as the summer months started. It's like everyone is on vacation already. I still have clients searching but at least 3 to 4 sets of buyers have decided to wait until the Fall. Yet the Opens I've been holding have been well attended.
It seems a lot of agents are having this experience. I was talking to a former client two weeks ago that bought in January. She mentioned an agent that does a lot of business in her building was removing his listings from the market until the Fall. Nothing was happening and he decided to pull the listings so the DOM (days on market) didn't accumulate.
Meanwhile, well priced condos in prime locations are still a hot commodity. Take a look at Urban Turf's post about a 2 bedroom in Dupont for $324,900. Over 40 people viewed it last weekend and they are receiving multiple offers. That's a great indication the market is alive and well. Buyers will be active regardless of the weather or state of the industry if it's a great location and well priced. The DC 5K first time buyers tax credit doesn't hurt either.