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Thanks to Brian Beutler for his informative, informed, and provocative piece on D.C. real estate (“Just Reduced: Saying Goodbye to D.C.’s Real-Estate Bubble,” 2/10). As a Realtor, I agree with many of his insights, but there is no need to guess about what has happened to prices.
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According to the organization that runs the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), condos have gone from an average of $397,442 last year to $409,880 last month. The median is now $347,000, in contrast to $340,000 in 2005. The gap between the average and the median may be widening, perhaps suggesting that the highest-priced apartments are pulling up the average.
As for single-family homes, last year they averaged $555,037, while they sold for an average last month of $627,023. At the same time, the median shows signs of decelerating, from $418,250 in 2005 to $460,000 today.
Agents are saying that they believe a lot of the inventory out there has been around a while, lacks quality, and is overpriced. The disconnect is between offering prices and sold prices. Consider this: Properties sold for 98.44 percent of their asking prices in 2004 and for just 95.7 percent last year. They are not being priced realistically, and buyers have been responding rationally.