Bubbles & Boom Times

Certain dear readers will be happy to know that signs are supposedly showing of a slowdown in DC’s overheated (some say overvalued) housing market. Though real estate experts (not to mention ol’ Greenspan) have been warning of a bubble in the area for months, October marks a noticeable rise in the inventory level of existing homes in the area according to the Post. This means houses are staying on the market longer than before, and the mad days of a place being sold on its first open house may be coming to a close. Also becoming apparent is that the preponderance of new so-called “luxury condos” (I’m really begininng to hate the devaluation of the word ‘luxury’) will cause a glut that may drive prices in that market down.

Now, I’m no expert in real estate at all, but I did have a market assessment done of my house a few weeks ago, and the very intelligent agent, instead of dazzling us with an outrageous selling price, stated honestly that the market is “normalizing” to more of an equal footing between seller and buyer, good news for those who want to join the world of homeownership. He said sellers need to start adjusting their expectations of extremely high asking prices (oh, perhaps like the guy down my block who asked for 900k?) and sudden turnaround to a more traditional real estate market.

I certainly don’t want the market to take a total dive, but I do want it to normalize. Speculation makes me nervous; I can’t help thinking of the 1920’s crash or, closer to heart, the 1990’s internet bust. And I have many friends who want to buy right now and just can’t justify or afford it. So let’s hope we can find a more secure and reasonable footing in the DC housing market.

(Though of course the Post also is reporting that sales of new homes hit a high last month, so who knows what the hell is really happening!)

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