- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006

You’ve heard that selling a home is much harder this year than it was last year. This is true throughout the Washington metropolitan region.

Did you know, however, that the difficulty you face as a seller depends a lot upon the kind of home you are selling and where the home is?

Take Arlington, for example: In June, single-family homes were selling briskly there. Sales chances were 30 percent, which indicates a moderate seller’s market.

However, condominiums were selling much more slowly. Sales chances for condos in Arlington were only 17 percent in June, due to an oversupply of condos for sale.

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.

From Fredericksburg to Baltimore, one thing has proven true this year: the smaller the home, the more there are for sale. Everywhere you look, the number of condos on the market is 200 to 300 percent higher than it was last year, while single-family listings are generally up 100 to 150 percent.

In Alexandria, Arlington and the District, the inventory of condos has risen so high that this segment of the market is now the slowest-moving.

However, in most other markets the strong demand for condos among buyers means that condos are selling more quickly than detached homes.

In Anne Arundel County, for example, sales chances for detached homes were only 15 percent in the second quarter. It was definitely a buyer’s market.

However, sales chances for condos there were 32 percent in the second quarter, meaning it was a healthy seller’s market. But, not as healthy as last year’s 106 percent, of course.

Contact Chris Sicks by e-mail ([email protected]gmail.com).

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