Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Columbia Heights house, condo sale prices keep going up; some are 78% higher than 2009

If you bought a house a few years ago, it seems like you're in luck. Slate Properties, a local real estate firm, just published a chart of historical house sale prices for our area.

Basically, the average list and sale prices have increased dramatically for houses and condos over the past 5 years: a three bedroom house sale went from $308,852 in 2009 to $539,231 this year so far, a 78% increase, while houses with more bedrooms have gone up about as much, 71% and 68% for four and five or more bedrooms. If you compare this to inflation between 2009 and 2014, which is 11%, it's still quite large.

The differences between list and sale prices have also gone from negative to positive, meaning people used to have to reduce prices to sell, and have now been increasing them -- I would guess either due to bidding wars or just high demand. The average time on the market has declined too, from 49 days in 2009 to 13 this year. Houses are really jumping.

Condo prices have also gone up, though one bedroom condos are not up as much, just 7% since 2009 (or, if I'm using these numbers the right way, less than the 11% inflation, so they're technically down.) However, two and three or more bedroom condos have increased by 27% and 63% since 2009 respectively. Like houses, condos have also been on the market for a much shorter time, and their sale prices are higher than their original list prices.

So, what does this mean? It's good for current homeowners, as their houses are worth more. We don't know for sure that this will always continue, though it doesn't seem like there's a bubble coming either (then again, I'm no economist.) At the same time, it means it's tougher for people to buy houses since prices are going up and time on the market is lower, meaning you have to move fast.

I figure most affordable housing isn't sales but rentals, but this could also mean bad things for affordable housing in the area as it prices go up, presumably developers will build more (and bigger) homes since they can get more money from them. That one I'm not as sure about, however.

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