Friday, November 27, 2009

District Sales: August 2009

I've finished processing, geocoding, and uploading sales data for August 2009. The table below shows August 2009 average and median sales prices and unit volume by zip code and the percentage change from August 2008. Once again, sales volume up, prices down.

State of the Market

In August the District recorded 736 residential sales. Overall, prices were down, sales volume was up. District-wide, average sales price fell 11.98% and the median sales price fell 7.94%. Unit sales were up a healthy - nay, robust - 31.9%. Dollar volume grew 16.09%. Overall, although 178 more units sold in August than during the same month in 2008, the average sales price was $60,324 less.

The condo market sparkled with a 28.3% increase in unit sales and a 22.52% increase in dollar volume. Condo prices fell; average sales price lowered 4.5% while median prices declined 9.28%. The number of homes sold surged 35.15% and dollar volume was up 12.04%. However, average and median sales prices for homes fell again, down 17.1% and 9.7%, respectively.

Only Ward 6 had positive price growth in August. Despite that, all wards experienced higher unit sales.

Condo sales ruled Wards 1, 2, and 6, constituting 60% and 80.45%, and 52.63% of units sold, respectively.

Just about every neighborhood in the District saw declines in average and median prices.

Distribution of Sales

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

Detailed Data

Sales 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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

S&P/Case-Shiller: September 2009 report

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report for September 2009 was released today. The report shows "that the U.S. National Home Price Index improved in the third quarter of 2009, posting its second consecutive quarterly increase and further improvement in its annual rate of return."

“We have seen broad improvement in home prices for most of the past six months,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “However, the gains in the most recent month are more modest than during the seasonally strong summer months. Fewer cities saw month to month improvements in September than in August in both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted figures.”

YoY, DC area prices are 4.98% lower with prices increasing 0.9% August to September. It's important to note that's a slower rate of increase, the slowest since April 2009

The charts below reflect home price data for the Washington, DC MSA.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Half the story

The National Association of Realtore (NAR) today released a report on sales of existing homes in October.

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – surged 10.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.10 million units in October from a downwardly revised pace of 5.54 million in September, and are 23.5 percent above the 4.94 million-unit level in October 2008. Sales activity is at the highest pace since February 2007 when it hit 6.55 million.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, was surprised at the size of the gain.

I won't go into an analysis of why it's not surprising that NAR's economist was surprised, I leave that to his fans. I will note, however, that it's only in paragraph 10 of a 19 paragraph report that NAR mentions that prices are down.

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $173,100 in October, down 7.1 percent from October 2008. Distressed properties, which accounted for 30 percent of sales in October, continue to downwardly distort the median price because they usually sell at a discount relative to traditional homes in the same area.

The second sentence is an excellent example of a "blinding flash of the obvious". But, moving on, so of the 500,000 homes that sold in October, 150,000 of those sales were distressed properties? Why am I reminded of the line "we lose money on every sale but we make it up on volume"?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MRIS October 2009 Housing Report

MRIS released its data for October signed sales contracts for existing home and condos in the District yesterday. As in the reports for the preceding few months, sales and dollar volume are up and prices are lower than the same period last year. More is selling, but for less. I must repeat: remember that we're now into the one year anniversary of the financial collapse kindly brought to us by the Bagatelle brunching idiots who work on Wall Street so YoY numbers right now (sales and dollar volume) reflect the effects of last year's near economic meltdown.

Key points in October's data:

  • YoY, aggregate dollar volume jumped 17.02%. Condo dollar volume leapt 30.52% and that of homes grew 10.49%.
  • Sales volume was strong, increasing 40.58% YoY. Condos and homes both shared in the positive growth, increasing 33.88% and 45.89%, respectively.
  • Prices continue their tailspin. Average prices fell 16.76%. Condo prices fell 2.51%, while home prices dropped 24.26%. As in September [and August], not a single home category experienced higher prices YoY.
  • At October's sales rate, there is a 6.11 month's supply of condo units on the market, 14.23% more than September. For homes, 5.27 months, 17.53% less.

By the way, if you ever want to hear what Bagatelle brunching idiots who work on Wall Street sound like, tune in to Sirius Radio on Saturdays from 3-6PM to listen to dance channel BPM's "Bagatelle Brunch" broadcast. If you listen real close between the sounds of David Guetta [turn off the sound before you click or you'll be rocking the house] and Paul van Dyk [someone is still using MySpace], you'll hear them laughing at us.

Detailed Data

Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MRIS October 2009 Sales Report: Preliminary data

MRIS released October's data for sales of existing homes in the District today. Prices continue to fall while more units are sold. Key points [YoY]:

  • Dollar volume up 17.02%
  • Average price is down 16.76%, median is down 3.66%
  • Unit sales volume [aggregate] is up 40.58%
  • Home unit sales up 45.88%
  • Condo unit sales up 33.87%

Sales prices were 93.36% of list. At October's sales pace, there is a 6.11 month supply of condos [an increase from September] and 5.27 month supply of homes listed for sale [less than September].

Analysis forthcoming.

Monday, November 09, 2009