- - Thursday, July 7, 2011

Are you thinking of selling a home right now? Is it an “average” home, or something more special? A town home in Arlington, perhaps?

Oh boy. If you’re selling one of those, you have one of the hottest pieces of property in the entire metro area on your hands.

If, however, if you’re selling a condo in Charles County, be prepared to wait quite a while.

Today’s charts provide comparisons of the three main housing types - detached homes, attached town homes or duplexes, and condos.

As you study the charts, you will find that within each jurisdiction, the level of competition can vary significantly among housing types.

Let’s start with the District. You can see more than 1,200 unsold condos were in the District’s inventory in May, according to data from the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS). Condos are the dominant type of home listing in the District, Arlington and Alexandria.

In the District, 241 condos were sold during the month of May. That means sales chances were 20 percent.

Sales chances are my way of measuring the level of competition in the real estate market. Dividing sales figures for the month by the inventory on the last day of the month results in a percentage - a figure below 20 percent indicates a buyer’s market. Higher figures mean we’re in a balanced market or a seller’s market.

So there are enough condos for sale in the District to keep up with demand. Buyers don’t have to compete very much with one another.

Unless a buyer would rather buy a town home in the District. With a supply of just 781 and sales of 505, sales chances for that type of home hit 65 percent in May.

The attached-homes market is even tighter in Virginia. Sales chances for attached homes in May were 86 percent in Fairfax, 87 percent in Prince William and a shocking 219 percent in Arlington.

That’s right. It’s been like that all year in Arlington County. Nearby Falls Church is the same way. On May 31, just two attached homes were available in Falls Church. Yet 13 were sold during the month of May.

Send email to csicks@gmail.com.

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