DC housing supply depleting quickly

After an incredibly active August, the District's housing market appears to be slowing slightly in September, likely limited by a rapidly declining inventory. According to The Washington Post, home sales in the city have been brought back to earth after an August in which selling prices and demand leapt significantly. Although home prices appear to be staying close to their levels from the summer, a depleted supply could prevent some home-seekers from finding their dream home in the coming months. Therefore, those who are serious about buying one of the homes for sale in Washington, DC, may want to act quickly.

Decreasing sales
Home sales typically slow during the autumn months and this trend appears likely to continue this year. However, that slowdown is not necessarily due to diminishing demand, but is more likely being driven by reduced supply. According to the source, the median price for a home in the District in September is at its highest level for the month in five years.

Indeed, when compared to September 2011, last month was a significant improvement. Total sales and prices were up while the average amount of time a home spent on the market was down. Therefore, the reduction of activity experienced in September can be blamed squarely on the lack of inventory.

Fewer houses on the market
According to the source, new listings have not been able to keep up with demand - the number of active listings in September was 6,000 below the 10-year average for the month. This is 35 percent lower than the number of for-sale homes on the market in September 2011. While this may make it hard for some home-seekers to find a house, the small supply should keep prices relatively stable, as demand remains strong, the source reports.

Positive news across the country
Although the District is in a unique position - new residents keep flooding in, rents are skyrocketing and the unemployment rate is well below the national average - its September experience is similar to that in many other regions throughout the country. According to Fannie Mae, consumer confidence is up throughout the U.S. For the 11th straight month, expectations for changes in home prices have remained positive.

As the national and local economies continue to improve, home prices in the District may continue to rise. The dwindling supply could also result in leaping prices in the next few months, so it might be in buyers' best interests to start looking intently for their new home in the District.