Friday, November 14, 2008

Australia Fair

I'll be away for the next three weeks. I'm going to Australia [Sydney, Cairns, and Melbourne] to fulfill a long-term desire to visit the country and to celebrate my [significant milestone] birthday. I do not expect to post any entries while I'm away. If I do, please chastise me severely.

Preparing for Oz

Before we go, I'm heading to the Grooming Lounge to ensure I make a proper appearance as a representative of the USA and the District of Columbia. No Ugly American I!

I estimate our total travel time from DC to Sydney will be 30 hours, including a minimum 14.5 hours on the plane from LA to Sydney. To make it much more tolerable, I've saved my American Express points for years in order to get two first class seats. Can you believe each seat retails for $25,000?!?

While there, my social secretary has informed me we're going to see Priscilla, visit the penguins, and avoid the jellyfish [my friend Dawn is fond of telling me about the twenty things that can kill you in Australia].

See you in three weeks!

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

Monday, November 10, 2008

MRIS October Housing Report: Condos still hurt

Today, MRIS released its data for signed sales contracts for existing home and condo sales in October 2008. Compared to October 2007, unit sales were down, dollar volume was slightly negative, and average sales prices were up. A more detailed look at the data tells me the condo market is still hurting: unit sales and dollar volume are significantly lower YoY. Sales price as a percent of listing price fell 2.46% to 92.67%, i.e., the average sale price was 7.33% less than original asking price.

Key YoY data points:

What I'm seeing in the data:

  • Monthly sales measured in unit sales [October compared to September] were a mixed bag. Condo sales fell 5.67%, homes rose 7.44%. Similarly, condo dollar volume fell 15.25% and homes increased 25.95%.
  • The number of units going under contract in October YoY fell 10.78%. For condos, the number fell 24.69%, worse than September. Unit sales volume for homes was up 4.52%.
  • While dollar volume YoY was slightly negative, that for condos dove 19.95%. Homes, however, jumped 13.36%.
  • Comparing October to January 2008, the aggregate average price in the District is flat, up a mere 0.41%. The average price for a condo is down 3.41% for the year while, for homes, has barely budged, up 0.39%.
  • Based on October's sales volume, there's [are?] now 8.75 months of inventory for condos and 8.63 months for homes, an 11.22% increase for condos and a 5.74% decrease for homes from September. Compared to October 2007, the number of condos listed is down 3.49% and up 9.63% for homes.

2008 Trends

Average Sales Price

Change in Sales Price

Unit Sales Volume

Dollar Sales Volume

Detailed Data

Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume

Sunday, November 02, 2008

DC Sales: June 2008

I've finished my analysis of full value residential sales the District recorded in June 2008. Key points:

  • Compared to June 2007, sales volume was down 7.14% and dollar volume was 7.88% lower.
  • As in May, Old City II led the District in sales, accounting for 19.47% of units sold and 16.53% of dollar volume, far higher than any other neighborhood in the District.
  • Condos dominated sales in Wards 1, 2, 6, and 8.
  • Fifty three (!) homes sold for more than $1MM; 8.32% of units sold accounted for 27.4% of the month's dollar volume.

Each month I offer a copy of that month's sales listings for $5.00. However, I'm offering June's sales listing for free. Please see below.

All data have been uploaded for viewing on and

State of the Market

In June 2008 the District recorded 637 residential sales. In general, the average price fell a mere 0.79% and the median price fell 6.23%. The condo market is still suffering: unit sales are down 10.33% YoY and dollar volume down 16.15%. Single family home sales were slightly better - average prices rose 2.49%, the median price fell 5.45%, the number of homes sold fell 3.46%, and the dollar volume declined 1.05% - but it's all a matter of degree.

All but one ward, Ward 6, had lower unit sales YoY. Wards 1 and 8 had higher average prices, Wards 7 and 8 had higher median prices. Ward 8 again had the steepest drop in sales volume, dropping almost 42%.

Condo sales ruled Ward 2 [again]: 83.89%.

Distribution of Sales

The chart below shows the distribution of June's recorded sales by sales price.


The number of condos sold [existing and new] fell 10.33% YoY. Average and median prices were much lower, down 6.49% and 2.98%. Among those condos that have sold:

Single Family Homes

YoY, overall demand for single family housing is down 3.46% as measured in unit sales. Average prices were up 2.49% and median prices were down 5.45%. The median price for all categories of single family homes fell. Rowhouses had lower average and median prices while detached and semi-detached homes had higher average prices and higher unit sales.

Download the Data

You can download a listing of the June home and condo sales recorded in the District discussed in this post at no charge. Information in the listing includes [see below]:

  • Address
  • Sale price and sale date
  • Unit number [if a condo and if available]
  • Price per square foot
  • Square footage
  • The number of bedrooms and baths for each unit

Note: Data may not be available for all properties. My analysis is dependent upon the completeness and fidelity of the District's appraisal data.

June 2008 Sales ListingsAdd to Cart

Detailed Data

Aggregate by Zip Code

June 2008 average and median sales prices and unit volume by zip code.

Aggregate by Neighborhood

June 2008 average and median sales prices and unit volume by neighborhood.

Category by Zip Code

Category by Ward


  • Unlike MRIS, my data and analyses include new units [primarily condos] so there will be some differences in my conclusions about the market's state compared to a similar analysis based solely on MRIS reports, which only report sales of existing units sold and/or listed by real estate agents.
  • This analysis is of sales recorded by the District during the month as opposed to sales settled in the month, which is what MRIS reports, so there may be some discrepancies because of timing issues. However, I believe the data do provide a helpful indicator of trends in the District.
  • Sales may have been recorded by the District's Recorder of Deed during the month yet may not appear in the District's real property sales database, my data source, many months later. Consequently, those sales will not be in the month's analysis.
  • My analysis is based on District sales and appraisal data that I've collected and processed. I've deleted those sales that appear to be of questionable data quality. Errors are always possible.
  • My analysis is limited to condos and single family homes; I omit properties the District classifies as multifamily conversions. I'm sure I'm excluding some properties that are legitimate single family homes, but I want to eliminate uncertainty.