Realtors Report Strong Sales For First Three Quarters

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How did the market fare during the first three quarters of the year?  Based on that, what are its prospects for the future? When we called some of our areas top realtors to ask those questions, we learned that many of them were with clients, which was itself encouraging. When we were able to speak with them, heres what they had to say:

Three record-breaking months this year.

Maxine McLeod Miller, Prudential Carruthers,
Old Town

Throughout all this year, we have seen some pretty nice changes in the market.  In our office, we have seen three record-breaking months this year. I dont know how to explain it, but it is pretty phenomenal. The month of June was the best sales month that our office has ever had.  July, August and September were good months as well. Overall, we are trending to a pretty strong market going into 2009.  I think it is rather exciting.

We saw a huge burst of activity

Chris White,
Long & Foster, Alexandria/Old Town Historic District

I see a very good increase in activity at the end of the third quarter.  Starting at the beginning of August, we saw a huge burst of activity and sold a lot of listings. This was kind of ironic, because August is usually one of the slowest months of the year, but this August was a huge month. I think that people are starting to believe that we have hit the bottom and they had better get in on it before there is another uptick.   I also think that the interest rates falling helped spur that on. In highly sought-after areas, there is actually a shortage of houses on the market right now.  I think that things appear to be very much in balance and will probably stay that way. Things seem to be very encouraging for the rest of the year. Any place in the Alexandria and Mount Vernon areas is very desirable and there are a lot of people looking in relation to the number of houses available. We have seen it at across the board as far as price range is concerned. We sold two houses in August, where one was a little over $1.3 million and one for a little over $1.1 million, and both had a lot of activity before they actually sold. The first was a new house that is being completed as part of the Seminary Overlook development; the other was on Quaker Lane, built in the 1930s. In addition to that, we sold a couple of $800,000 and $900,000 houses in Mount Vernon. All this happened in the same couple of weeks.

We should have a very good fall market.

Sue Goodhart,
McEnearney Associates

The first two quarters were very strong. It has been quiet in July and August, but it is typical for the market to quiet down in the summer months. Generally, it gears back up in the fourth quarter. Prices are very good, interest rates are now lower and the inventory thinner than it has been for a while. We are going to have a very good fourth quarter. We are talking about inside the Beltway, which is where the strength is. Alexandria, Arlington and D.C. are all very strong.  We should have a very good fall market here. 

People are buying.

Lynne Humphries,
Prudential Carruthers,
Old Town

I would say that there are buyers out there.  There are plenty of homes on the market, but in our office there are even more buyers being connected with them.  It will be interesting to see what happens in November, when a lot of people will be coming in and moving out (following the national election). But things are already picking up, and people are buying.

The rental market has really picked up.

Norma J. Heck,
Century 21 Accent Homes

The sales market is still slow, but it has picked up a little. The rental market has really picked up. Buyers and renters are still undecided. They are looking at a lot of properties before they make up their minds. Luxury homes, townhomes and condos are all being rented. Right now it is the trend, but I dont expect rentals to replace ownership. We were hoping (sales) would get back to normal within the year, but it will probably take a while.

People are moving forward and purchasing.

Dolly Reigert Woodruff,
Prudential Carruthers,
Old Town

The first two quarters were slower, but starting in July the third quarter picked up a lot.  August was a little slow, but September has been busy. Given whats happened in the stock market the last couple of days, who knows whats going to happen?  But I see confidence right now because a number of people are buying, and there are a number of things under contract. People are moving forward and purchasing.

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