Friday, December 30, 2005

WashPost 'Existing-Home Sales Take Slight Slide in November'

Thanks to dc_too a reader who informed me about The Washington Post's article titled 'Existing-Home Sales Take Slight Slide in November' . The best is:

Thomas M. Stevens, president of the National Association of Realtors and a Vienna real estate broker, said he could sympathize. His own home, a 6,400-square-foot single-family house on two acres in Great Falls, priced at $1.45 million, has been up for sale since September. He said he would give Harrington the same advice he follows himself: When the market slows, sellers need to look at their properties with steely-eyed realism, cutting the price if other homes are selling for less. He also counsels patience.
Ironic. :-) Patience? How about lowering the price.


  1. Here in Arlington, VA I've got a ringside seat for the RE bubble from my apartment! There's a townhouse across the street from me on sale for 950K. The RE agent is trying hard - with 2 open houses every weekend since mid-September but no contract or sale. The guy who bought the house next door in late summer for 925K must be sweating bullets - I figure he's probably already eaten 75K!

    David - thanks for interesting blog on individual situations - which is why I'm sending this info!

  2. There're some townhouses having been built on Clarendon Blvd. in the last couple of years. I work in that region and noticed that the price has risen from 750k to over 900k. Seems like those f***ed borrowers are feeling the chill now. Hot areas along Wilson blvd., from Balston to Rosslyn, will soon see those stupid speculators rushing to dump the ridiculously high-priced condos and townhouses.
    When nobody wants to catch the falling knife, it will eventually cut the feet of those stupid speculators. Cheers!

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  4. Seems like there will be a bloodbath in the spring- I recall Ian Shepherdson( US economist of High Frequency Economics) saying 2 months ago there would be a 'meltdown' in housing,in 2006-and that things would become 'ugly'.He predicted there would be a recession. It seems his prediction, along with David Rosenberg of ML and Stephen Roach of MS where right all along.

  5. Here's another specific example of how much seller's have dropped their expectations of the price gains in the DC condo market:

    Link to posting:

    On, today, a posting was made for a condo at 1300 N Street Unit #711, asking $394.5K. It appears to be a FOR SALE BY OWNER listing. Some quick background check confirms this, because the current owner of the unit is listed with last name of Nguena, same name as the listing on the ad. According to the property database, the unit was purchased on 2/18/05 for $348.9K. The sellers may have a multitude of reasons for selling, which might be a relocation, etc, but it contrasts well with other recent attempts that they only want $45.6K more than what they paid.

    Now include the closing costs they likely paid to purchase the unit (approx. $10K), the $308/mo fees, and $220/mo taxes for at least 7 months (totaling $3.6K) their profit drops to under $30K.

    Is it a fair conclusion to assume they are FOR SALE BY OWNER, because if they sold for $394.5K with a realtor's assistance, they would pay an additional $23.67K in commissions, bringing down their profit margin to ONLY about $7000 dollars!

    Wow - the change is here, I keep getting impressed with how quickly it came.

  6. Thank you for these encouraging posts. It was so frustrating to see ridiculously high prices around DC/NoVA area earlier this year, and it was quite depressing for me since I had sold my home five years ago due to a move to overseas. High prices made me lose hope of ever owning a home again. I was almost angry at greedy sellers. I am waiting for my turn to purchase again, and appreciate any hopeful information. As long as there is hope, I can wait without getting depressed.

  7. I think the DC area real estate price fall has only begun, and will have its occasional head fakes upwards. But without massive inflation, there is a long way down to go.