David Rathgeber's

Local Market Report

(there is no national real estate market)

December 2018

Computer-weenies run amok during a major MLS conversion was the cause of last month's strange market report. Months supply figures have returned to a normal range but a few problems remain. Media-reported data for days on the market will now be essentially useless for home buyers and sellers. (See note below.) I have developed a work-around and my data will continue to be more accurate and timely than any other. I will keep you on the front of the wave.

The other BIG news is that Amazon's second headquarters is coming to my backyard, Crystal City. To welcome them, I have updated my title "Buying a Home in Northern Virginia" and uploaded it to Amazon Kindle priced at $1. A direct link is here. A 22202 zip-code market index has been added to this report. See below.

Northern Virginia is now in the lead with 1.4 months supply; followed by Loudoun County at 1.7; then Washington DC at 2.2; and Montgomery County at 2.3. Crystal City (22202) supply is 5 days. The market has begun its seasonal strengthening for home sellers and buyers will have an increasingly difficult time for about the next 6 months.

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The report above is prepared monthly from David's independent research for his clients. It does not contain important data for macro-economists, is not tailored for a TV audience, includes no national data, and is not prepared by the computer-weenies at the MLS. Click this link to learn how this report is prepared and why it is the best available anywhere!

Special December 2018 Note
Our new regional MLS system will eventually be fine. Meanwhile there are a few growing problems, so don't assume that terms mean the same as what they used to, and don't assume that their definitions are definitive.

Days on the market (DOM) will be calculated in a new way and will produce a result that is essentially useless. With the new "Bright MLS" system it will add almost 30 days to the average. It is unlikely that this will ever be corrected since our MLS has decided to follow the ignorance of the third-party websites and abdicate any responsibility to lead. The new numbers represent DOM to removal of all contingencies, not DOM to the initial agreement as has been reported for the last 15 or so years. Again, the new MLS-generated number will be essentially useless for home buyers and sellers. Thanks, computer-weenies; maybe not too bright after all!

Here is a link that details how DOM should be used by home buyers and sellers. I have developed a work-around and will continue to report DOM as reported in the past. Thanks for staying tuned.

General notes
1. The market index represents the months supply of resale homes and measures the ratio of home buyers to home sellers. Below 1.5 is a hot sellers' market; 1.5 to 3.0 is a normal sellers' market; 3.0 to 5.0 is a neutral market; above 5.0 is a buyers' market.
2. Northern Virginia: Alexandria, Arlington County, and Fairfax County (including Fairfax City and Falls Church City).
3. Results are not seasonally adjusted.

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