In the western DC suburbs, primarily Montgomery and Frederick counties, our market is always driven by what happens in the northwest DC market. This area did not experience the huge numbers of foreclosures that hit so many other parts of the country but values did decline by as much as 50% in some parts of the area by 2008-9 after peaking in 2005. It’s been a difficult climb back out of the hole but it is happening and we’re seeing prices now that have slowly climbed to about 2003 levels.
Pricing in this area of two contiguous counties begins at an average price of just under a million to as little as $165,000 as you reach the furthest distance from DC, all of which makes for an interesting market. The market here is clearly skewed toward the lower end, with the shortest time on the market and closest sale price to list price ratio in the under $3-400 range. Luxury and more expensive homes are not faring as well since fewer move-up buyers want to take the plunge.
For anyone thinking of buying, it is still a good time – interest rates are incredibly low and if you have decent credit scores, you can get a decent mortgage. Many municipalities in Maryland have programs to help First-time Buyers or buyers in specific transitional areas.
Mary Richeimer, CEBA-M, The Buyer’s Best Realtors, Urbana, MD