The Washington Post today has an article about a "few rays of sunshine" in the D.C.-area real estate market:
Some real estate agents say that, despite key statistics that show the slowest housing market in years, they are seeing cases of multiple bids and rising prices. These seem to be concentrated in close-in neighborhoods including Del Ray, Bethesda and Chevy Chase (both sides of the Maryland-District line) and American University Park in the District.Opposing views from local economists:
Peter Morici, an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland, sees a sign of a healthier market. "It indicates while we don't have a high-volume market, we have a market that has some stability. Fundamentally, [prices] are not a lot lower than they were at the peak," he said.(Fundamentally? I don't cover Maryland; perhaps it's "different" there).
But Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, said that he thinks the market is still weak and that real estate agents are often setting prices low to get the asking price or more.
"I think it's more a function of Realtors thinking it can move quickly. I think we're going to have a weak market for some time to come. There's a lot of air that still needs to come out of the bubble."
Northern Virginia has a few more "clouds":
Real estate agent Kristine Price of Samson Realty in Chantilly, whose territory includes Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, said: "I'm getting more potential buyers at my open houses. Last year, at some of the open houses, I got zero. Now I'm getting 12 to 15 buyers coming through. I'm getting a lot of traffic, but not getting a lot of offers on the table.
"When I talk to some buyers, they say, 'Maybe I should wait a little and the prices will drop more.'