Buyers and sellers will continue to experience two different real estate markets, depending on where they live. The close-in markets referenced in our study are selling well and that should continue through the spring market. In fact, February was the third month in a row showing declining inventory, with the average months' supply going from 9.2 months in December to 6.9 months in February. In addition, prices have not declined in this area, with the average price showing a small increase in 2006 of 1.5%, and a 1.75% increase in 2007. However, the farther suburbs are continuing to be weak because of high inventory, caused by short sales and foreclosures, which in turn, are putting downward pressure on prices. These areas will probably take the rest of the year, and maybe longer, to recover, while the close-in market should pick up steam as we move into the spring market.
*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional Information System for three areas: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland, and the close-in suburbs of Northern Virginia.