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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT—An analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market, prepared by RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), based on the September 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales Index™ was released recently.

Home sales in the Washington, D.C. metro area headed into the slower fall market losing some momentum as expected following the end of Washington’s seasonal summer peaks. There were 3,829 new contacts written in September 2011 beating September 2010 by 12.4% and 11.7% ahead of the five year September average. The total September contracts were 8.2% less than the 4,169 contracts signed in August 2011, consistent with the decrease in seasonal activity. At $338,000, the median sales price for September 2011 showed some resilience as it was the highest September level since 2008.

September contracts reflected long term seasonal trends. There were 3,829 contracts signed in September 2011, 8.2% less than the 4,169 contracts signed in August, but September’s total was still 11.7% ahead of the 5-year September average. The monthly total was the highest number of September signed contracts in 5 years. New pending sales were 12.4% above September 2010.

Median sales price lower than previous month, consistent with seasonal patterns. The median sales price for September 2011 was consistent with seasonal long-term trends, declining 5.6%% to $338,000 from $356,000 in August 2011. The September 2011 median sales price represents a 2.4% increase year-over-year and is almost exactly in line with the 10 year average median sale price of $340,020.

Active inventory is considerably below the 5 year average. There were 14,791 active listings at the end of September 2011 which is 23.8% below the 19,401 monthly average of the past five years and down 13.9% from September 2010. Buyers were faced with lower inventory to choose from than the same period a year ago, however, the number of active listings at the end of September did increase modestly by 3% over August 2011 levels.

Time to market a property is higher than 5-year average. The average days on market prior to buyer and seller agreeing on terms was 77 days in September 2011, edging up 10% from 70 days in August 2011 and still lower than the 81day average for each September since 2007. The average discount from original list price was 6.7% in September 2011, 5.9% discount in the same month last year and 5.8% discount in August 2011.

For more information, visit www.rbintel.com.

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