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Washington DC real estate news, market data and new construction project highlights.
DC real estate market data

Washington DC Market Update

New Condo & Co-Op Market Data September 2017

Washington DC’s median sold price for condos and co-ops in September was $416,250, down 6% compared to August and a decrease of 5.3% from the same time last year. Average Days On Market for units sold in September was 37 days, 3% below the 5-year September average of 38 days. There was an 11.5% month-over-month increase in new contract activity with 379 New Pending sales; a 12.4% MoM increase in All Pending sales (new contracts + contracts carried over from August) to 507; and a 46.2% increase in supply to 772 active units.

This activity resulted in a Contract Ratio of 0.66 pendings per active listing, down from 0.85 in August and a decrease from 0.70 in September 2016. The Contract Ratio is 6% lower than the 5-year September average of 0.70. A higher Contract Ratio signifies a relative increase in contract activity compared to supply, and indicates the market is moving in the seller’s favor. A lower Contract Ratio signifies a relative decrease in contract activity compared to supply, and indicates the market is moving in the buyer’s favor.

 

Is DC Becoming a Buyer’s Real Estate Market?

The DC real estate market is not yet balanced. While supply inched over the two month mark in June and September of 2017, these benchmarks can be considered seasonal. A balanced market requires six-months of available inventory.  September inventory offered just over two months of supply. Another market indicator is Contract Ratio (number of end-of-month contracts for all home types compared to number of active listings). A ratio of just under 1.0 indicates that in September, DC was still a seller’s market. In fact, contract ratio for all home types held fairly steadily at just below 1.0 during June, July and August. This means that there was a contract for nearly each listing. In September, the ratio fell about 0.7% to 0.81%. This could also be a seasonal effect, so October will be a better gauge of DC’s market status. If current trends continue through the end of 2017,the market will be moving in buyers’ favor, towards a more balanced market for 2018.

How did your neighborhood and home type fare in September 2017?

DC buyers agent

The Isaacs Team Joins Slate Properties

The Isaacs Team LLC Joins Slate Properties

The Isaacs Team is proud to announce its affiliation with Slate Properties. After a happy association with Evers & Company, which was purchased in September 2017 by Long & Foster, we are excited to be joining Slate, a proudly independent Washington D.C. real estate brokerage firm.

Slate Properties embodies the principles we emphasize with our brand; client loyalty and community service, no client “admin” fees, no corporate affiliations with lenders, title companies or home warranty companies and no dual agency practice. We are mutually committed to providing top-tier representation to buyers and sellers in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.

New Credit Scoring Bill

A new Senate companion bill to the Credit Score Competition Act, reintroduced in Congress earlier this year by Ed Royce (R-California), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), and Terri Sewell (D-Alabama), requires Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to utilize alternative credit scoring models with the goal of ending the FICO monopoly and allowing more Americans to purchase a home. The bill was originally introduced in 2015.

Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are sponsoring the Senate version, which would allow lenders to use alternative credit scores when assessing consumers’ qualification for a mortgage loan.

Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require lenders to utilize scoring models developed using aged data (1995 to 2000). Experts say this disqualifies borrowers without a credit score and heavily penalizes many for less than perfect credit scores. The Credit Score Competition Act authorizes the FHFA to set standards and criteria for validation and approval of credit scoring models.

Read the full story at Housing Wire

Wire Fraud

How Does Wire Fraud Affect You?

Protect Yourself From Wire Fraud

Wire fraud attempts are surging in the U.S. according to a recent FBI Advisory. These attacks, in the form of email hacks and phishing schemes, have increased dramatically from 2013 to 2017. The Bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center  reports an unprecedented number of attempts globally, especially via emails purporting to be from trusted business associates. They estimate the value of the targeted funds at $5.3 billion USD, but some experts say it could be double that amount. Wire transfers are common in real estate transactions. It’s important to know what the threats are and how to protect yourself against them.

2017 TOPA Reform Bills

2017 TOPA REFORM BILLS

In 2017, Ward 1 Councilmembers Anita Bonds and Brianne Nadeau each proposed bills restricting TOPA. Bonds’ bill, TOPA Accessory Dwelling Unit Amendment Act, exempts a dwelling’s rental portion such as a basement apartment, from the law if it consists of less than a third of the total square footage and the dwelling is owner-occupied. This bill shortens deadlines associated with TOPA. Nadeau’s Home Sale Facilitation Amendment Act, prevents tenants in owner-occupied single-family dwellings from selling or assigning their TOPA rights. This bill also shortens TOPA deadlines for single-family homes.

Approximately 200 people attended the DC Council hearing on TOPA reform on September 21st, with about 25 testifying to the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said that, while he continues to be an advocate for tenant rights, there were a number of TOPA issues that would not be remedied by newly proposed legislation and he stated his support for a full TOPA exemption for all single-family homes, eliciting a standing ovation.  A “Fix TOPA” website was launched to document TOPA horror stories.
Next steps are amendment mark-ups, a Council vote, then a 30-day U.S. congress review.
DC house flip

Why Are "Flips" Worrisome?

Why Are “Flips” Worrisome?

Beware: The house you flip for may be a dog, not a unicorn. And that’s giving dogs a bad name. “Flips” are homes that have been purchased by a rehabber and “improved” for quick resale. Unfortunately, a good number of flippers focus more on cosmetic aspects of the home and less on its structural integrity or soundness of electrical, plumbing and mechanical elements. Their goals are speed and profit, not care and concern. And that’s the good news. Some unscrupulous DC and NVA flippers have been caught drywalling over serious structural issues that later became homeowner nightmares. While some flippers do a good job, flips are an area of great concern and should be approached with extreme caution. Their popularity has exploded in DC in the last decade, as have the number of serious construction issues and lawsuits. With little regulatory oversight for permitted and unpermitted residential construction in DC, bad behavior can be commonplace. Remember, anyone can decide to start flipping houses, whether they are qualified or not. Permits may or may not be pulled, and in our experience, DCRA inspections are often ignored. Often the properties are held in an LLC to limit liability, so there may be limited legal recourse if you experience problems. Flips are classified as renovations rather than ground-up construction, so they’re subject to spotty DCRA permitting and inspection rather than the much more rigorous building code new projects are expected to adhere to.

DC Construction Permit

DCRA's New Online Permit Site

Get Your DCRA Permit Application Submitted Online

DCRA has upgraded its Online Construction Permit system to allow applicants to obtain permits online from start to finish. No further need for those fun trips to the DCRA office! Included are permits for intermediate and complex jobs. Simply upload plans through the ProjectDox system, pay, and obtain your new permit copy. Questions? Check out the  OCPI User Guide.

SLS Lux Condos 901 5th

901 5TH

SLS Lux Hotels & Residences Coming to DC

SBE’s ‘ultra-luxury’ brand SLS Lux plans a new mixed-use project at 910 5th Street in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. The property will include a high-end hotel, retail and luxury condominiums.

1309 Q Street #1

1309 Q Street #1

Sold by The Isaacs Team LLC

1309 Q Street #1 is a huge two bedroom + den, 2.5 bath residence one block from 14th Street in Logan Circle. Features include a massive, light living & entertaining floor, 10′-12′ ceilings, vintage hardwood floors, two fireplaces, chef’s kitchen, exposed brick stairwell, powder room, private outdoor space & secure parking. Sold at $1,325,000.

1808 Corcoran

Sold in Zero Days On Market at Record Price by The Isaacs Team LLC

1808 Corcoran is a stylish two bedroom, two bath residence 2.5 blocks from Dupont Circle. Features include a full finished basement, charming patio garden and fun finishes. Sold at $950,000.

DC Development

Washington DC Development

What’s Going Up in the District?

Washington DC is bursting with new construction, a boon for frustrated condo buyers who are encountering tight inventory in the resale market. The WestLight released their first luxury condo offering in November, Elysium Logan is beginning pre-sales on their luxury condo project off 14th on Rhode Island Avenue, 2501 M construction is progressing in West End, and The Adele will begin pre-sales in early 2017. There are many new DC real estate development projects, from boutique to large-scale, in various stages of development throughout the District. See what’s going up in your neighborhood!

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Information on this site is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. Realtors are not CPAs or attorneys and therefore not permitted to give tax or legal advice or interpretations. Refer to a tax or legal professional for all related matters. Any information provided on this site pertaining to such issues is not intended as tax or legal advice and is provided solely for the purpose of illustration. Resources cited are believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice.
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