Some good news out of the nations capital for once. [rim shot] Don’t hold your breathe, but there are some people in D.C. that worked at a feverish pace in January. [rim shot #2] Pending sales of existing homes in the Washington-area region were up 31 percent from a year ago in January.
MRIS data, complied by its Real Estate Business Intelligence division, covers: D.C., Montgomery, Prince George’s, Arlington and Fairfax counties, also including Alexandria, Fairfax City, and Falls Church. A 31 percent spike in pending sales of existing homes is a huge shot in the arm to local D.C. real estate, as well as a good number for national real estate. Pending sales measures the numbers of signed contracts, but sale is not final, hence the pending descriptor. [rim shot #3 .. can you ever overuse rim shots?]
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the pending home sales index (PHSI) was at 93.7 percent in January. The current PHSI is still some 4 percent below what it was a year ago, but it has posted a gain five of the last six months, according to the same NAR article.
The MRIS data showed that the Washington region posted its highest monthly and yearly increase in pending sales in more than a decade, with 3,198 purchase contracts signed in January. Median sales prices in the region also rose a healthy 7.5 percent from January 2010 to $315,000. A separate report by NAR stated Washington-area prices in the fourth quarter were up 8.1 percent from the previous year.