Real estate market sizzles in the summer

As the summer heat sizzles, the Loudoun real estate market is also heating up.

Loudoun’s median sales price increased 5 percent in June compared to May, reaching $388,995, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence. The median sales price is also up this year compared to the previous June by 5 percent.

Eastern Loudoun’s median of $390,000 in June was up from its May median of $361,000 – yet it still trailed Leesburg and western Loudoun’s median sales prices. Leesburg’s median increased from $410,000 in May to $420,000 in June, while western Loudoun led the pack with the highest median sales price – $440,000 in June, up from $435,000 in May, according to Loudoun housing analyst Rosemary deButts.

Despite the uptick in median home sales prices, however, the volume of homes sold year-to-date still floats below the averages of the previous six years, according to deButts.

The number of homes sold in June increased by 35 percent compared to May, but fell year-over-year by 7 percent. Last month, 546 homes were taken off the market compared to 404 the previous month and 586 in June 2010.

Although June had a strong sales rally compared to the previous months this year, the year-to-date sales in 2011 are still faltering. To put it into perspective, year-to-date sales in 2011 total 2,287 compared to 2,559 in 2008, 2,815 in 2007 and 2,782 in 2006.

So far this year, the largest share of the 2,287 new and existing homes sold so far in 2011 were priced between $200,000 and $399,999, totaling 44 percent, according to deButts. Again, May and June warmed up the market for high-priced homes. Nineteen homes priced higher than $1 million were sold those two months, which is unprecedented in recent history, according to deButts.

For the fifth consecutive month, the number of short sales and foreclosures declined. Distressed properties represented 20 percent of the 553 preliminary sales in June – a decrease from 28 percent in May and 30 percent in June 2010.

The Washington, D.C. market

The Washington, D.C., metropolitan market was the most active in June than it has been within the last six years, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence.

Throughout the region, buyers and sellers signed 5,124 contracts in June, the most for that month in six years. Pending sales also jumped 30 percent year-over-year due to last year’s sharp decline in activity immediately following the expiration of April 2010 federal homebuyer tax credit, according to RBI.

The metropolitan area’s median sales prices also reached its highest level in nearly three years. The area’s $379,990 median sales price was 7 percent higher than the $354,000 median sales price in June 2010 and 8 percent more than $353,606 in May.

Additionally, RBI reported that the number of days a home spent on the market fell to a 10-month low of 63 days, as buyer and seller negotiability stabilized. Days on the market is measured by the number of days between the original listing date and the contract date.

Contact the writer at hhager@timespapers.com.

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