- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 25, 2004

The housing market heated up in October, with a drop in the number of homes for sale and an increase in homes sold.

Overall, the Washington-area real estate market was more competitive than it had been in September. Sales chances were 71 last month, up from 65 in September.

Sales chances are a measure of market activity, calculated by dividing home sales by inventory. The market tends to favor buyers when sales chances are less than 15 percent. When chances are greater than 20 percent, it is a seller’s market.

Obviously, a sales chance figure of 71 means October was a very strong seller’s market. In many ways, October is the last good month of the year. November and December are much slower, and it isn’t until February that the market is fully fired up again.

Most area jurisdictions saw sales chances rise in October, and median home prices continued to rise. Prices aren’t rising as sharply as they did in the spring, however. Prices leaped skyward then due to unprecedented competition among home buyers.

Prince George’s County continues to be the surprise of the year. Chances there were 97 percent last month — higher than any other jurisdiction in the area.

The high prices throughout the reason have caused buyers to take another look at Prince George’s County, a community that lagged behind during the sales boom of 2000-2003.

Today, buyers can’t resist the combination that Prince George’s offers: Prices like those in Spotsylvania County with a commute like that of Arlington County. There’s nowhere else in the region with that combination.

Therefore, we can expect prices to rise significantly in Prince George’s County during the coming year.

If you want a single-family home that’s close to the Beltway for less than $300,000, you better head to Prince George’s soon. You simply won’t find properties like that in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria or most of Montgomery County.

Chris Sicks

The statistics in this story reflect a metropolitan area that includes the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Howard, Charles and Frederick; the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania and Stafford; the city of Alexandria; and

the District.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide