The New York Times editorial concerning the housing recovery has received lots of national attention, and for good reason. The editorial board raises important questions regarding just how much the recent improvements in the national housing market have resulted from buyers collective fear of looming interest rate hikes. Hard to say, but this has certainly factored into some of the recent activity both nationally and locally. It could be one of the main drivers behind the (welcome) increase in new listings over the last 5 months in the DC Metro market, which we elaborate upon in this recent blog post.
Another point made by the NY Times editorial hasn't reared its head in the DC Metro market...at least not yet.
Similarly, home prices have gone up, rising 12.4 percent from July 2012 to July 2013. But month-to-month price gains have slowed considerably the last several months. This suggests that prices have begun to plateau, even as millions of homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth are counting on rising prices to restore their equity. [emphasis added]
The 10-year average July-to-August month-to-month price change is -2.5% for the DC Metro area. The 2013 July-to-August percent change: -2.4%. We'll keep an eye on this indicator when the September stats are reported on the 10th, but don't be surprised if there is a month-to-month decrease again: The 10-year average August-to-September median sale price change is -5.2%.