Washington DC Home Prices Rose Again in April 2011

by Karen Briscoe
July 11, 2011

The Case-Shiller S&P Index for April 2011 was released recently and the Washington DC metro area once again came out tops at 4.0% for the 20-city composite index comparing that month with April 2010.  The month over month increase (April 2011 over March 2011) for the Washington DC metro area was 3.0%.  There were 11 other cities that experienced improvement in price, but none at the level of Washington DC.  The entire 20-city composite for the first time in eight months went positive at 0.7% change for April 2011 over the previous month.

The June 29, 2011 USA Today article headline:  “April saw Slightly Higher Home Prices:  Months more of Gains needed to call it a Recovery” speaks volumes about the condition of the United States housing market.  The good news is being tempered by the fact that there is still a long road of recovery yet to be traveled.  It is important to keep in mind that the figures are not seasonally adjusted and April is typically one of the peak months for home sales.  David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee stated:  “It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.”

One of the primary reasons that the market is recovering so slowly I believe is the tightened credit standards for obtaining a home mortgage.  I have been working with a home buyer that has a very strong financial position.  Recently she remarked to me about the excessive requirements that the lender and underwriter are placing on her obtaining financing approval for a home loan.  This is a person that is capable of paying cash for the property.  If this is the case for such a qualified borrower, then it leads me to believe that perhaps the lenders and underwriters have gone too far in the direction of being strict.  Granted, the lending guidelines were probably too lenient given the number of foreclosures and short sales that the U.S. housing market has experienced since the peak in 2006.  But does that justify going to the opposite extreme?

The link for the article quoted above is:  http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2011-07-01-home-prices_n.htm

The best source for understanding the local real estate market is by working with experienced and knowledgeable Realtors®.  Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy with the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group would be delighted to be of assistance.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:  www.HBCRealtyGroup.com,703-734-0192, Homes@HBCRealtyGroup.com


Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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