Bethesda Real Estate Update 04/2011

I know all of the national experts are telling us how bad the real estate market is and how anyone looking to sell their house should be patient.  Overall, this is probably accurate, but that doesn’t quite seem to be the whole story here locally, at least not for Bethesda real estate, which I cover extensively.  I compiled some statistics for the Bethesda real estate market that may not be what the NASA engineers think is scientifically statistical as the sample totals may fall just short but it is relevant and useful nonetheless.  I’d like to show you three statistics that show that our local market, while not spectacular, isn’t as bad as the rest of the country.

Bethesda real estate asking prices

This first graph that I am sharing with you is illustrating the median asking price of homes currently for sale in the Bethesda real estate market.  So it doesn’t include condos, or homes that have already sold, simply the asking price of homes for the past year.  At the end of April 2010, the median asking price appears to have been around $1.07 million dollars, certainly not a paltry figure.  Twelve months later, that number has grown to over $1.15 million, or an increase of $80,000.  This is counter to the news we are hearing about a continuously slumping housing market.  Bethesda is an area with historically high demand but this increase of almost 8% is exciting from a seller’s standpoint.  I have seen increases like this in the past and sometimes is has been due to a high number of new construction homes being listed at approximately the same time and resulting in a spike in the median price.   Regardless, it is a positive step for home seller’s in the area.

Let’s look at the next graph, and see if the good news continues, or if we get a dose of reality.  This next graph will show us how long homes for sale in the Bethesda real estate market are staying on the market.  If a home sells, it leaves the  market.  Likewise, if a home owner gets tired of trying to sell their home and takes it off the market, it counts just the same as leaving the market and would show up in the graph below.

Bethesda real estate days on market

Either way, the average number of days homes for sale are staying on the Bethesda real estate market is dropping, and has been for the past several months.  This could be in part due to the Spring real estate market which is typically the optimal time to sell a home in our market.  If we look at the black line above, which tracks weekly data, we can see Bethesda homes topping out at around 175 days in mid-January.  But since then, that statistic has dropped, and pretty steadily, all the way down to our last measurement of 95 days, a huge drop.  Again, not the kind of news we would expect to see if we paid a lot of attention to the national housing market news.

Here we go, last graph here, this one is inventory levels, just how many homes are currently for sale in the Bethesda real estate market?

Bethesda real estate inventory

OK, this one looks a little bad, inventory levels seem to be shooting straight up, and normally, where there is an influx in supply, the demand usually goes down.  In other words, when we have too many sellers, we expect the buyers to demand better deals, and prices to fall.  But what we are seeing right now is that even as more and more sellers come on to the market, asking prices are on the rise and days on market is falling.  So perhaps there is some pent up demand from buyers and we are still working our way towards an equilibrium.

The bottom line is that Bethesda real estate is still selling, and that even with dire predictions available, it helps to see real data, from a local and experienced Realtor.  If there is ever anything I can do to be helpful, please don’t hesitate in contacting me.

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