Like the majority of Washington Metro, the numbers of sales and sales prices grew at a healthy rate in Montgomery County throughout the first two quarters of 2013. According to the most recent data released by RBI, sales prices were up 5.3% year-over-year as of May, and 15.29% in total sold dollar volume. Summer months are always a period of increased activity and with a somewhat higher inventory than other parts of the metropolitan area, there are still numerous opportunities for buyers.
When Montgomery County is broken down into sectors and communities, we start to see a lot more fluctuation as far as drops and gains. Unlike Arlington and Fairfax Counties in neighboring Virginia, there continues to be a level of volatility as the region continues its rebound from the national economic downturn of 2008. There are a number of reasons, including over development during peak market years prior to the crash. Still, while chart patterns in some parts of Montgomery County don't have the same consistency as other key markets in Washington Metro, the net result is still solid growth.
While regions like Arlington, Fairfax and the District of Columbia are moving into a seller's market, Montgomery County still presents numerous targets of opportunity. These include short sales and foreclosures, increased new home construction and price drops on high-end listings in select markets. Why is new home construction a good deal if the market is still experiencing fluctuations? For one, lot prices are still quite affordable in large portions of the county and home builders who are eager to get back to work are offering discounts and incentives.
Breaking down 3rd quarter real estate trends in various neighborhoods in Montgomery County becomes interesting. According to data bank Zillow, Germantown which is seen as the biggest and busiest community in the country is currently enjoying a 7.9% increase Y-o-Y in index value, yet a 1.8% drop in list prices. Gaithersburg on the other hand, shows a 6.3% climb in value and a 10.8% rise in list prices. Bethesda shows a 6.1% increase in values yet is flat when it comes to prices while its neighbor North Bethesda shows a 10.6% jump in values and a 2.0% increase in list. In the upscale neighborhood of Cabin John, values rose a modest 3.4% with a stunning plunge of minus 22.6% in list.
What do these conflicting numbers show us? The differing patterns between single-family detached homes and condos in Montgomery County are quite interesting. Communities with a heavy presence in condos and townhouses tend to be showing the fastest growth in list prices. Single family homes are increasing in value but depending on price, are somewhat flat when it comes to list prices or closing figures. There are plenty of exceptions – luxury new home construction for instance seems to be outdistancing older high-end properties. In a nutshell, Montgomery County on whole enters the summer months with solid gains in value and opportunities for buyers across the board.
Andre Perez | District One Properties LLC | Realtor/Agent/Owner
1305 Leslie Ave, Alkexandria, VA 22301