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Quarterly Report – Q1 2017

Avi Galanti 0 comments 04.17.2017

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Spring is in the air and I LOVE IT! I find that spring brings inspiration; it also brings out the best in people… and, oh yes, sellers and buyers of real estate come out in droves! The frenzy is in full swing and I can’t find a better example than a recent transaction I was semi involved in, where 85 competing offers were presented for one house! Clearly, significantly underpriced, but still…

So what have we had in the first three months of the year? Surprisingly, activity increased across the board. In Bethesda (all zips, all types), 522 properties came on the market, a 19.2% increase in number of new listings published compared with Q1 2016. Of the 522, 359 were Single Family Homes (SFH), representing a 14% increase. In Chevy Chase, MD, there were 178 new listings in this period - a 15.6% increase - of which 91 were SFHs, a modest 1.1% increase over same period in 2016.

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This increased inventory was good for the market. My colleagues and I had been complaining for years that inventory levels were very low, so it’s encouraging to see more homes come on the market. Here’s what it means for sellers:

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In zip code 20817, 157 properties went under contract during Q1 2017, a whopping 29.8% increase over the same period in 2016. Of these contracts, 130 were for SFHs, a 32.6% increase. Days on Market (DOM) average for all types was 30, 55% lower than Q1 2016. SFH average DOM was 46, still a 36% decrease. Lastly, the median home sold price in 20817 was $931,000 (SFH only).

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20814
Zip 20814 was active as well, with additional good news for homeowners. 114 properties went under contract, a 39% increase over Q1 2016. 54 were SFHs, a modest increase of nearly 4%. Average DOM for the zip (all property types) was 68, and 58 days for SFH only that represents an increase of 132%, which sounds terrible, but consider this: the median home sold price in the zip was $1,236,000, which represents a 25% increase over Q1 2016. I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on the increase of DOM or the Median Sold Price, as these can fluctuate wildly depending on the type of homes offered for sale. As we know, the range of prices in 20814 stretch from $500K to close to $10MM.

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20815
Moving on to zip 2015. Chevy Chase had a 10.9% increase in contracts written during the first quarter of 2017. Of the 112 contracts, 56 were for SFH which actually was a decrease of 3.5% compared with Q1 2016. DOM average for homes was up at 70, a 52% increase, while the median SFH sold price was virtually unchanged at $1,162,500.

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Condos
The condo market in downtown Bethesda has expanded quite dramatically over the last 24 months. Toll Brother’s Hampden Row (55 units) is now finished, and sales are underway at the newer projects, Cheval and Stonehall. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the condo market in Bethesda, Friendship Heights, or NW DC. With dozens of condo sales under our belts, we have an unparalleled insight into every condo building in Bethesda.

I am truly excited about the spring market and beyond. Barring any unforeseen surprises, 2017 has every potential to be strong and positive for sellers and buyers. If you are thinking about selling, buying, or have real estate related questions in general, please get in touch. I will be delighted to be of help.

Best wishes for a happy and peaceful spring!

 

Source: Statistical data was gathered and analyzed using the MRIS and includes sales information collected up to March 31, 2017.

 

End of Year Report 2016

Avi Galanti 0 comments 01.11.2017

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Happy New Year! Don’t you just love this time of year?! I don’t - it’s too cold! So, 2016 is behind us (phew) and now that we’ve celebrated the holidays and welcomed 2017, it’s time to look back, summarize and analyze the year... but just in real estate! I wouldn’t think to take on everything else that happened in the last 12 months (though I’m tempted). But before we jump in, allow me a second to recognize that it’s been a little over a year since we launched Galanti Group. Thank you for your ongoing support, I am very grateful. I’m happy to say that it’s been a fantastic year and we are growing and expanding, as we welcomed three new agents to the team - Peggy Bresler, Illia Schwarz, and Diego Sito.

Now on to business. If you’ve been reading my quarterly reports, you know by now that 2016 has been mostly the year of no thrills (again, just in real estate). There were no big surprises, no big dips or surges, as buyer and seller activity, as well as home prices, were for the most part stable. In general, properties in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, and Upper NW kept their value with pockets of modest appreciation.

I’d like to start with new construction homes as an indicator of the overall health of the market and the confidence new homes builders have in our market. In 2016, 100 new homes were sold in all of Bethesda-Chevy Chase (90 in Bethesda, 10 in Chevy Chase). This represents a healthy 16.3% increase in the number of new homes sold compared with 2015. It’s worth noting that, in actuality, the number was higher by an estimated 8-12%, but those extra sales were never reported in the MLS (private sales).

37 homes were listed between $1,200,000 and $1,500,000. On average, the Sold to Original List Price Ratio (SLR) was 97.36%, and the average Days on Market (DOM) was 131. 44 of the homes (44%) were listed between $1.5M and $2.0M with an average of 168 DOM and average of 96.05% SLR. The remaining 19 homes were listed over $2.0M and had an average of 175 DOM and 92.6% SLR.

Here’s an interesting fact: in 2010, as the market was starting to recover from the great recession, the number of new detached homes sold in zips 20814, 20815, and 20817 was 42! That’s a 138% jump in 6 years!

My expectation is that this segment of the market will slow down in 2017 as builders are getting more conservative and less speculative. The 2016 increased activity is really a reflection of the confidence builders had in the market in 2015 (since it takes about 1 year from the time a builder purchases a lot to when the new house enters the market).


Zip Code 20815, Chevy Chase, Detached Homes:

2016 was virtually the same as 2015, with the exception of average home price. The number of homes sold was 261, same as in 2015. The average DOM fell to 58, down from 61. The Sold to Original List Price Ratio (SLR) was 95.8%, whereas in 2015 it was 95.65%. The average home price (sold) was $1.268M which is 5.3% less than 2015. The lowest detached home list price in Chevy Chase was $450,000. The highest priced home was listed for $4.3M.

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Zip Code 20817, Bethesda, Detached Homes:

20817 was not as active in 2016 with 431 units sold, compared with 462 homes sold in 2015, a 7.2% decline in overall activity. The average DOM climbed to 76 days, which is a 13.4% increase. The average home price was $1.185M slightly higher than 2015’s $1.162M, and lastly, the SLR went down half a percent to 95.07%. Lowest priced home was $515,000 and the highest priced home was $5M.

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Zip code 20814, Bethesda, Detached Homes:

Here, too, the data shows similarities to 2015 market data. The number of homes sold in 2016 was 207 compared with 205 in 2015. The average DOM was 56, compared with 55 in the previous year. The big difference was the average Sold to List Price (SLR). In 2016 the ratio stood at 94.46% which is lower by 2 percentage points compared with 2015’s 96.43%.

The lowest price of a detached property in 20814 was $560,000 while the highest was $7.995M. That property, 7118 Glenbrook Rd, was the highest property to be listed in 2016 in all of B-CC. It was sold for $6.5M, that’s 81.25% of list price.

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Zip 20854, Potomac, Detached Homes:

Potomac saw increased activity with 462 homes sold during the year, representing a 4.5% increase. The average DOM climbed modestly to 83 days, compared with 79 days in 2015. The average list price stayed virtually unchanged at $1.127M. Where the Potomac market is significantly different than the B-CC market, is that the average Sold to Original List Price Ratio is at 92.6%. This means that, on average, a seller asking for $1M would, on average, sell the property for $926,000.

To illustrate this point, the highest priced property in Potomac in 2016 was 13331 Signal Tree Ln. originally offered at $8,750,000, sold for $5,450,000 – a 62.3% SLR.

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Bethesda Condo Market:

The number of condo units sold in 2016 (excluding town homes), was 236, 19% higher than that of 2015! The average DOM also climbed, from 48 days to 64 days, a 33% increase. Similarly, the average unit price increased by 12.8% to $536,500. All of these changes can be attributed to the new ultra-luxury condo buildings in Bethesda.

In 2015, about 30% of all condo inventory was sold at or above $1,000,000, wherein 2016, the number of condos priced and sold over $1M jumped by 53% to 26 units. We can expect this trend to continue with the condo offerings in buildings such as Hampden Row, The Lauren, Cheval, and Stonehall.


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Looking ahead, 2017 has all the potential to be a great year in real estate. The DC Metro area continues to boast low unemployment, steady growth, positive migration of talent, and of course high-incomes. With the new Administration and new Congress prioritizing overhaul of the tax code and focus on domestic economic growth, a promise of increased consumer confidence and subsequent spending is looming. And, while interest rates are rising, the increases are modest, with rates still considered low and attractive. In a sense, the rate hikes might actually get buyers who’ve been on the fence to finally make a decision to buy.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your continued support! We wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017! If you have any real estate needs, please do not hesitate to reach out - we are here to assist and provide exceptional and reliable guidance.

Best, Avi

Quarterly Report – Q3 2016

Avi Galanti 0 comments 10.27.2016

View as a PDF here: Q3Report2016

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Ahhhh… Fall is here! The Fall Season is solidly in my top 4 favorite seasons! I love the crisp air, digging in my closet for light sweaters, and decorating for Halloween with my kids! As I write these lines, I am wrapping up a 4 day road trip through gorgeous New England!

Looking back at the last 3 months in the real estate market, it has been stagnant for the most part, with increased activity in September after a fairly quiet summer. Before we dive into the actual numbers, there's a point worth noting: 3rd quarter stats can be misleading... July's activity is typically a spillover of the Spring Market; during August many folks are getting sunburnt at the beaches; and the market gets a jumpstart in September after kids get settled in school. We should not jump to any conclusions as to the overall health of the market solely based on these stats.

Another important point to keep in mind is that every market is different! I’m not only talking about Cleveland, OH versus Washington DC, I am referring to different neighborhoods in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Upper NW, Potomac, and so forth. In fact, every subdivision, every street, and every house is unique and should be looked at specifically when analyzing for fair market value and evaluating potential market interest.

OK, let’s get to the numbers. To keep things interesting, I will focus on different aspects of the market activity, all important and great indicators of the state of the real estate market.

Single Family Homes (SFH) in 20817:
The number of new listings added in 20817 during Q3 2016 was 132 which is a whopping 43.3% drop compared with new listings added during Q2 of 2016. Not a huge surprise, however, it is also a 33.7% drop compared to new listings in Q3 2015! Also, during Q3 2016, 105 SFH went under contract, compared with 173 in Q2 2016, a 39.3% drop. When compared with Q3 2015, again, we see a 12.5% decrease.

The average Days on Market (DOM) for SFH in 20817 stood at 33 days, it represents a 22.2% increase compared with the average DOM during the same period in 2015.

Single Family Homes in 20815:
In Chevy Chase, MD, DOM dropped to 14 days in Q3 2016, a 56% drop compared with same period in 2015 - a sign of a strong seller market! Number of new listings entering the market was 87 homes, an 8.8% increase from 2015, and a 37.8% drop from the previous quarter. The number of homes which went under contract during Q3 was 67, compared with 95 during the previous quarter, and a 29% increase from Q3 in 2015. All great indicators for zip 20815 which continues to outperform neighboring MD zips.

Single Family Homes in 20814:
Bethesda zipcode 20814 also did well compared with 20817. A total of 89 new listings entered the market in Q3 2016, a 20% increase from Q3 a year ago, and a mere 5% drop from the previous quarter. In terms of sales, 53 homes went under contract, representing a nearly 4% increase compared to the same period in 2015, and a 15.8% drop compared to Q2 2016. Not bad! DOM however, increased to an average of 32 days, compared with only 14 during the previous quarter.

 

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Similarly, the condo market in Bethesda slowed with 85 new contracts during Q3 which is nearly 15% less that we had during the same period in 2015, and a 22.7% less than Q2 2016.

What’s interesting though is the number of new listings of condos. The third quarter brought us 148 newly listed condos (in all of Bethesda), a 61% increase compared with 2015! That’s on top of 153 newly listed condos for sale during the second quarter. For those of us who have been following new construction in Bethesda, it’s not surprising. Bethesda-Chevy Chase condos and town-homes range wildly between $250 per SF to $1,500 per SF. There are multiple market trends, and sometimes conflicting trends, depending on the segment, and geographical area, of the condo market.

One last thought. We are nearing the end of a very long (exhausting, at times excruciating, comical, and historical) presidential race. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, go out and vote on Nov 8! This freedom we have, the right to vote, this civic duty that we sometimes take for granted, is to be cherished and celebrated. Make your voice heard.

As always, for any of your real estate needs, be sure to call me!

For a specific analysis of your property, whether a house or a condo, anywhere in Bethesda, Chevy-Chase, North Bethesda, Upper NW DC, Potomac, Rockville, and Kensington – please contact me and I’ll be happy to meet with you! It has been my privilege to help your neighbors with their real estate needs over the past 10 years. It would be an honor to help you, too.

 

Ask the Experts – Bethesda Magazine interview

Avi Galanti 0 comments 10.05.2016

Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Bethesda Magazine for their "Ask the Home Experts" section. Below is a segment that I hope you will find helpful!

How can I maximize the value of my property before entering the market?

The condition of your property is paramount to the way buyers will react to it and perceive its value when compared to other properties. Condition refers to two separate but related elements. One is the physical shape of the house. This includes items like fresh paint, replacing rotted trim, cleaning/repairing roof tiles, cleaning windows, replacing old carpets, and—possibly—updating bathrooms, the kitchen and unfinished basement or walk-up attic areas. Second is staging the house by removing excess furniture and personal items that clutter spaces and "hide" the true potential of the property. In today's market, buyers and agents will judge your property online before ever setting foot in your house, making it so much more critical that your online presence is pristine. Lastly, choosing the right Realtor that knows how to guide you through the process and provide solid advice on prepping your house for market can translate to a return of tens of thousands of dollars!

What qualities should I be looking for when choosing a real estate agent?

The short answer is market expertise and experience. In my mind though, the selection of a real estate agent goes well beyond that! It's about making a personal connection. You, the client, should feel you can truly trust the agent to provide a level of service that incorporates personal care, open communication, accessibility, solid advice on every aspect of the selling process and strong negotiation skills. The agent should also demonstrate wit, possess creativity and resourcefulness to deal with the unexpected, and above all, have great integrity!

Bethesda Chevy Chase Real Estate Report – Quarter 1 2016

Avi Galanti 0 comments 04.21.2016

Spring is finally here!

2015 closed strong. The real estate market in Bethesda and Chevy Chase thrived throughout the year with strong showings in early 2015 followed by robust spring and summer markets.

When comparing 1st Quarter 2016 with that of 2015, we see significant differences in the single family home market when broken down by zip code, whereby 20817 shows discouraging signs, 20814 and 20815 zips are showing solid signs of a healthy and strong sellers’ market. Generally speaking, the homes that sold in 20814 and 20815 were in close proximity to downtown Bethesda, indicating a continuation of a multi-year trend of buyers’ preference to neighborhoods with easy access to shopping, metro, dining, and other urban conveniences.

The number of homes sold in 20817 during Q1 fell 19.7% at 61 units compared with 76 units sold during Q1 in 2015. Days on Market (DOM) increased by 20% to 72 days, and the median home price fell 13.2% to $955,000.

By contrast, the single family home market activity in 20815 increased by 30% to 39 units sold with DOM average of 46 days which is 11.5% lower than the average in Q1 2015. The median sold home price increased 5.7% to $1,157,500.

Similarly, 20814 SFH market activity went up by 24.2% to 41 units sold during Q1 and median home price at $990,000, representing an 8.8% increase compared with 2015 Q1.

The condo market in all of Bethesda is off to a weak start when compared to the last quarter of 2015, and to Q1 2015! The number of units sold is down 30%, Median close price is down 6.8%, and DOM is up 153% to an average of 86 days. Having said that, the condo market in Bethesda, consists of wildly different types of products, by location and by price range. Therefore, jumping into any decisive conclusions about the vitality of the condo market in Bethesda is unwise. For a specific analysis of condo buildings, please contact me and I’ll be happy to share a detailed and customized market report.

I am hopeful that the spring market will be robust as more sellers enter the market and buyer activity increases. For any of your real estate needs, be sure to call me!

Home Prices Remain Steady as Number of Transactions Rise

Avi Galanti 0 comments 02.06.2016

2015 was a steady year in real estate in Bethesda-Chevy Chase, and NW DC. Across the board we have seen more sellers enter the market place as buyer activity remained strong, leading to stabilizing home prices (with minor to modest value increases).

In Bethesda and Chevy Chase, single family home market, we have seen an impressive 16% increase in the number of single family homes sold, while the average Days on Market went up consistently in 20814, 20815, and 20817.  While more supply often means a stronger buyers' market, the average sale price remained virtually the same in all three zips.

Why Spring is a Good Time to be a Seller

Avi Galanti 0 comments 02.06.2016

It's winter! It's cold and miserable outside, the days are short, snow is everywhere and all you want to do is go home and snuggle by the fire place! Home buying? For most people, it can wait... You'll often hear buyers say that the spring time presents more opportunities, more sellers come on the market in the spring and there's more selection. True. We typically see a significant increase of homes that enter the market - and with that, an increased buyer activity. The two factors seems to be working well for sellers - at least historically. While more competition from other sellers mean working harder to capture the buyers' attention - the balance of increased buyer activity mean less days on market, and higher Sold to List price ration!

Indeed data shows that during nearly 50% of all the transactions annually, are signed (contract entered) during the four spring season months, Mach through June. In addition, data shows that the average days on market (a key indicator in the real estate market), is 26% less during the same time period (March -June) compared to the annual average.