The Washington D.C. housing market struggled to recover from the aftermath of the recession, but there are finally signs that it is starting to improve. A February report from RealEstate Business Intelligence found that sales, prices and inventory increased steadily in January. Follow-up reports have been equally encouraging, which have led local real estate experts to believe that the market is finally on the rebound.
Signs the Real Estate Market Are on the Upswing
There are a number of signs that the D.C. real estate market is starting to improve, even though there are still some signs of uncertainty. The data from RBI shows that the market was declined about 0.6% in 2014 over the previous year. However, the market was stronger than any year between 2007 and 2012, which signaled that it is probably undergoing a sustainable recovery.
Most experts believe that the slowdown last fall was a fluke. Suzanne Des Marais, a broker at 10 Square Team, said that the market probably faltered after a few extremely strong months earlier in the year. She said that more recent data indicates that buyers are ready to continue buying again.
“Last fall, I think there was just fatigue in the city, with buyers getting tired of competing and not finding what they wanted,” she told the Washington Post. “We started seeing mobs of buyers at open houses in January, so I think buyers are ready to try again.”
Most other experts are optimistic, but they are still somewhat conservative with their predictions. Corey Hart, the senior product manager with RBI, predicts that market growth will be slow and steady. “We’re not predicting astronomical gains, but steady gains. Seeing contract activity pick up 11 percent in December and 6 percent in January is a leading indicator that sales activity into February and into March will be healthy increases,” he stated in February.
A follow-up report found that a growing number of experts are starting to believe that the market will continue to grow over the next few months. The market is expected to be particularly robust for moderately priced single family homes. Demand for homes selling for less than $300,000 is expected to be especially strong, largely due to a new federal law that allows homeowners to purchase homes with a lower down payment.
The market may prove even stronger if the labor market becomes more promising. One of the factors that constricted housing demand in the past was a lack of middle class jobs, but labor economists believe that job growth will rebound in the coming months.