State of the Market 1/11

As January winds down, I thought an update on the state of the market 2011 would be apt.  Here's what's happening so far:
Inventory is FINALLY increasing.  The number of listings on the market always decreases in the colder months.  As the weeks have progressed in January, the number the new listings in the MLS has proliferated.  This is an excellent development.  It's been slim pickings.  
People are back in the game.  Anything "good" has been getting multiple offers.  According to one agent on my team, he's already encountered three multiple offer situations on desirable properties in January.  One in Dupont, one in Eckington and one in Shaw.  I think this trend will continue throughout the Spring.  Will it be a "do over" of the 2005/2006 market?  I hope not but who knows.  If inventory doesn't increase dramatically, multiple offer situations will continue.  Urban Turf also noted the luxury market is making a come back.  Although the multiple offers scenarios doesn't bode well for my buyers, I'm encouraged the market is brisk.
Rates are still low.  According to Jennifer Landgraff at First Financial Services, Inc., rates on a 30 year conforming loan with a 20% down payment on a single family home are 4.875% and 5.25% on jumbo loans.  When I purchased in 2007, rates for 6.1% and I was thrilled.  How times have changed!
Selling remains tough.  The days on the market average has decreased to about 60 days from 120 days in 2008/2009.  The name of the game is price and presentation.  The Post recently published an article about seller difficulties and I agree with many of it's points.  If buyers don't feel they're getting a deal, they're not interested.  The property also has to look good.  I saw a listing today that had a PINK dining and living room.  Really?  
Overall, I'm hopeful.  Let's see if I retain that feeling over the next several months.
*photo of 3118 Sherman Ave, NW priced at $559,900 courtesy of Matrix. 
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