Friday, March 25, 2011

MRIS February 2011 Sales Report: Zip Code 20011

I wrote this sales analysis for my good friends at Urban Turf, who published a more polished version a few days ago on their site.

In this post I look at contracts closed in February in zip code 20011 using data released by MRIS. The zip code is roughly bordered by Eastern Ave NE on the east, Rock Creek Park on the west, Piney Branch Parkway NW / Quincy St NW / Rock Creek Church Rd NW on the south,  and Tuckerman St NW on the north. The 16th Street Heights, Brightwood, Crestwood, Manor Park, and Petworth neighborhoods are in this zip code.


Thirty-one units sold in zip code 20011 in February 2011. Key points in February's data:
  • Compared to the same month in 2010, aggregate dollar volume was down by almost 20%. The number of units sold fell, too, down 24.39%. The average sales price increased 5.91% and the median sales price was 6.57% higher.
  • No condos were sold in February; all 31 sales were homes. I can't recall any time in 5 years I've been analyzing real estate sales in the District that I've seen a month where no condos sold in a zip code. The average price for a home was 3.61% higher than the same month in 2010. Dollar volume for homes was down 8.23%. 
  • One 4 bedroom home that sold for $800-999K was the highest priced sale in 20011 in February. I suspect that the February 2011 average price for a home in 20011 would have fallen 4.75-6.84% when compared to February 2010 if this sale were excluded from the analysis.
In February, zip code 20011 represented 5.78% of the District's dollar volume and 8.4% of unit sales. The zip code's average and median prices were lower than the District as a whole, 31.25% and 18.89% lower, respectively. 

In the aggregate, at February's sales rate there's a 3.85 months supply for houses listed in 20011; there were 85 active listings for condos in February. However, when I look more closely at the market by price segment, $300K appears to be the dividing line between seller's and buyer's markets. Below $300K, the inventory is tight, under a 4 months supply for homes; above $300K, it's more than 6 months.

In terms of overall sales activity, the market in 20011 during February 2011 is slightly weaker than February 2010 (note, however, that more homes went under contract in February 2011 than 2010). But with that exception, February 2011 was stronger than any February since 2007, inclusive. 

It's difficult to draw conclusions about a zip code that had a mere 31 contracts close in February and more so given the limited scope of the data, e.g., MRIS does not provide data by neighborhood. Those who are trying to sell need to keep in mind that at this time $300K appears to be the tipping point between seller's and buyer's markets. Likewise, those who would like to partake in the renovation of properties in 20011's neighborhoods should keep $300K in mind, too.       

Detailed Data
Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume

Friday, March 18, 2011

MRIS February 2011 Sales Report: Zip Code 22314

I wrote this sales analysis for my good friends at Urban Turf, who published a more polished version a few days ago on their site.

In this post, I cross the Potomac to visit Alexandria, VA and look at contracts closed in February in zip code 22314 using data released by MRIS. The zip code is roughly bordered by the Potomac River on the east, I-495 on the south, N. Quaker Lane / the Metro rail line on the west, and Janneys Lane / Route 7 on the north. Old Town Alexandria is located in this zip code.


Fifty-one units sold in zip code 22314 in February 2011. Key points in February's data:
  • Compared to the same month in 2010, aggregate dollar volume was significantly higher, up 75.08%. The number of units sold rose 54.55%. The average sales price increased 13.29%, but the median sales price was a smidgen lower, down less than 1%.
  • In terms of units sold, it was almost evenly divided between homes and condos. Condos  accounted for 23 of the 51 units sold. The number of condos sold was 27.78% higher compared to February 2010. The average price for a condo was down 1.53%.
  • While unit sales were almost evenly divided, homes trounced condos in dollar volume. Homes represented about two-thirds of the dollar volume in February 2011; not really surprising since the average price of a home was 72% higher than that of a condo. Twenty-eight homes were sold, an 86.67% over February 2010. Average prices rose, too, up 15.29%. Three bedroom homes dominated that segment of the market.
  • Two attached 4 bedroom homes sold for more than $1MM; one for $1-2.49MM, the other for $2.5-4.9MM. Condos topped out at $800K, with 4 selling between $600-799K.
In February, zip code 22314 represented 50% of Alexandria's dollar volume and slightly less than 37% of unit sales. In comparison to Alexandria as a whole, its average price was 35.55% higher and its median price was 33.59% higher. 

At February's sales rate there's a 3.65 month supply of condos and 3.89 months supply for houses listed in 22314. When I look more closely at the market by segmentation, it's a sellers market for all segments listed under $1MM. Above $1MM, I'd say those folks selling a home in that pricier segment will have a tougher time. Thirty of the 109 homes with active listings are priced at $1MM or more. Based on February 2011's sales, that's a 15 months supply. Nine of the 84 condos listed are priced at higher than $1MM.

The market in 22314 is recovering from its 2008 low, but it hasn't yet returned to the glory days of 2007. More homes closed or went under contract in February 2007 and, interestingly, fewer went under contract with contingencies.

The most critical factor in this February's better performance was the sale of 17 attached homes with 3 bedrooms and 5 attached homes with 4 or more bedrooms. In unit terms, these were increases exceeding 400% and with their higher average prices, they made a huge contribution to the total dollar volume closed last month. 

My armchair analysis is that if you're looking for a home or condo in 22314 that's priced under $1MM, fast action and financial preparedness on your part will be important. If you can afford the pricier things in life, time may be on your side.      

Detailed Data
Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume

Friday, March 11, 2011

MRIS January 2011 Sales Report: Zip Code 20015

I wrote this sales analysis for my good friends at Urban Turf, who published a more polished version a few days ago on their site.

In this post, I look at January sales recorded for DC zip code 20015 using data released by MRIS. That zip code is roughly bordered by Western Avenue NW down to River Road NW on the west, Oregon Avenue NW / Rock Creek Park on the east,  and Harrison Street NW / Nevada Avenue NW on the south. Generally speaking, it includes the Friendship Heights, Barnaby Woods, and Chevy Chase DC neighborhoods. Deer from Rock Creek Park can be seen munching on shrubbery in the neighborhood.


Only 14 units sold in zip code 20015 in January 2011. Key points in January's data:
  • YoY, aggregate dollar volume fell 11.6% and the number of units sold rose 16.67%. The aggregate average sales price dropped 24.23% and the median sales price was 38.45% lower.
  • Condos ruled 20015's housing market in January, accounting for 10 of the 14 units sold. The number of condos sold in January 2011 was more than double that of January 2010. The average price for a condo was up slightly more than a quarter, up 26.64%.
  • Unit sales for homes were half that of January 2010 and dollar volume was down 56.31%. Average prices were 12.61% lower.
  • Nothing sold for more than $1MM: 3 of the four homes sold for prices between $600 - $799K, one sold for $800-$999K; eight of the ten condos sold for $300-499K.
In January, zip code 20015 represented 4.06% of DC's dollar volume and 3.67% of unit sales. In comparison to the District as a whole, its average price was 10.31% higher and its median price was 19.21% higher. 

Despite the low sales volume, at January's sales rate there's just slightly more than one month supply of condos and 5.5 months supply for houses listed in 20015. Right now it's a seller's market. To reinforce that point, MRIS records that January's sales were at 99.94% of list price. In other words, homes were selling at the asking price.

Since 2007, with the exception of January 2008, about 14 homes have sold each January. When you look at the MRIS data, 20015's overall January 2011 sales activity [contracts closed, homes under contract, homes with contingent contracts] is not only the highest since January 2007, it's double that month's total sales activity.

I think the differing sales mixes in January 2010/2011 explain many of the metrics (lower dollar volume, lower average sales price, lower median price) we see in January 2011. About 2/3 of sales in January 2010 were homes while in January 2011 lower priced condos represented 71% of units sold. MRIS doesn't provide insight into the types of units that went under contract in January, but of the 33 that were listed, 22 are homes and of those, 10 were listed at $1-2.49MM.

So we have a zip code where homes are selling at list, inventory is tight, and higher priced units dominate new offerings on the market. For those who want to purchase a home in 20015's neighborhoods and can afford to do so, I would say be prepared to move fast and to offer full price or more.      

Detailed Data
Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume

Friday, March 04, 2011

MRIS January Sales Report: Zip Code 20002

I wrote this sales analysis for my good friends at Urban Turf, who published a more polished version a few days ago on their site.

In this post, I look at January sales recorded for DC zip code 20002 using data released by MRIS. That zip code is roughly bordered by East Capitol Street on the south, North Capitol Street on the west, the Anacostia River on the east, and New York Avenue NE on the north. A wide variety of neighborhoods are encompassed within those borders: Bloomingdale, Capitol Hill, Eckington, Trinidad, and Gallaudet University. The hot H Street NE corridor is in this zip code, too, so I'm sure a lot of residents, wanna-be residents, and developers are interested in how the market's performing.


Forty-five units sold in zip code 20002 in January 2011. Key points in January's data:
  • YoY, aggregate dollar volume rose 54.7% and the number of units sold inched up 15.38%. The aggregate average sales price was up a healthy 34.07% and the median sales price was 40.61% higher.
  • Condos are a mere blip in the 20002 housing market. In January, they accounted for 4 of the 45 units sold, translating into a little more than  4% of the dollar volume. The number of condos sold in January 2011 was about half that of January 2010. The average price for a condo was down by almost a third, down 29.56%.
  • Homes had a good month. Three bedroom homes dominated the market, representing slightly more than half of all homes sold. YoY, dollar volume almost doubled, up 81.02%. Unit sales were up 32.26%% and the average price rose 36.87%.
  • No condo sold for more than $400K (!) and one home sold for $1MM-2.49MM. All told, 15 homes sold for more than $500K.
In January, zip code 20002 represented 11.14% of DC's dollar volume and 11.81% of unit sales, metrics close to that of zip code 20009. In comparison to the District as a whole, its average price was 5.69% less and its median price was 11.99% higher. I suspect that if the $1MM-2.49MM home were excluded from the mix, the average / median prices for 20002 would be much lower.

At January's sales rate there's a 14.3 months supply of condos and 3.44 months supply for houses listed in 20002. A seller's marketing for those with homes.

When you look at the MRIS data, overall January 2011 sales activity [contracts closed, homes under contract, homes with contingent contracts] is not significantly different from that of January 2010 except that the number of contingent contracts is much higher: 57 versus 37

If I were to characterize 20002 based on this data, I'd say it's a zip code where homes, not condos, dominate the market and average prices are lower than that of the District as a whole. In particular, attached homes (e.g., rowhouses) dominate unit sales and have experienced huge increases in dollar volume and average sales prices, with average prices for 2 bedroom and 4 bedroom homes increasing more than 100% compared to January 2010. That being the case, anyone buying in 20002 should understand that with homes selling fast and prices increasing, they have to move fast when they find the right home.  

Detailed Data
Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume