For much of the state, the problem lately has been a lack of listings — low inventory (for a variety of reasons) has been pushing us into a sellers’ market.
But — according to Lisa Sturtevant in the Washington Post — that trend may (may) be turning around.
Looking at the number of listings in various parts of the metro DC area, she found that listings had jumped significantly from April 2012 to April 2013.
First, listings were up 22 percent from March to April. Now, we’ve said many times that year-to-year numbers are more important than month-to-month ones, but this is an exception. As Sturtevant points out, "An increase in new listings this large is not a typical March-to-April bump. In fact, last year, the number of new listings in April was lower than the number in March."
Looking at the bigger picture, from April 2012 to April 2013, the DC area saw a jump of 16 percent. Stafford saw the biggest bump — up 42.6 percent year to year. But other areas were no slouches:
Fredericksburg was up 34.2 percent. Alexandria was up 26.7 percent. Montgomery was up more than 23 percent. And so on. All told, there were more than 11,100 new listings in the area in April 2013. In fact, as Sturtevant notes,
This is the first time since the beginning of the housing market recovery that there have been year-over-year increases in new listings across most of the region’s jurisdictions.
So there’s potential for good news there. Playing Devil’s advocate, though, the article noted that while April to April showed an increase in listings, March to March showed a decrease. So this could be a one-off or it could be the sign of more sellers entering the market.