Is the Housing Market Slowing? Three Numbers to Watch

Capitol Hill

The warning signs have been in place for months:  rising interest rates, slowing housing starts, inflation, short supply. Even some major metropolitan areas where supply has been traditionally tight, a buyers’ market has been forecasted. A market slowdown is inevitable.

Note the following articles:’s Clare Trapasso says the slowdown is real (Sept. 24); Lydia DePillis of Money Magazine says buyers are sitting on the sidelines because of high prices (Aug. 28); rising home prices are outpacing wage increases, according to Ben Casselman of the New York Times (Sept. 29). It is not a clear picture. Although prices are still rising, they are not rising at the accelerated pace that they were rising. Nationally, list prices were up 7% in August over the same point the previous year; and that year, they were up 10% from its prior year, according to

The bottom line:  prices are still high, just not rising at the same level. What does it mean for you? Keep these three numbers front-of-mind:

  1. Median Sold Price Over the Prior Year. In DC, the median sold price is up nearly 5% over the year before, according to the September statistics from Bright MLS. So yes, in DC, always the hot market, prices are slightly up.
  2. Closed Sales Over the Prior Year. If the number of settled contracts in a period over the prior year is significantly less, that means people may be waiting to list their home until the market improves. This period over last in 20878, closed sales are down 8% and in DC they are down nearly 4%.
  3. Price Per Square Foot of the Prior Year. Even if Days on Market changes, and in our home market of 20878, DOM is quite a bit longer (55% longer), holding steady on price per square foot points to listers getting their price. In DC, PPSF is up nearly 3% over last year, and in 20878, it is up 6%. This is a good sign for our clients if indeed the trends are pointing toward a difficult market.

There’s one more number:  your zip code. It may be interesting that the residential trends in Seattle will favor buyers, or that Denver and LA are losing residents because of sky-high prices. What matters is what’s happening where you live. My home market, 20878, is experiencing different trends than the city of Washington, DC. If you stay abreast of your own market – and a good realtor can help you – you’ll know when the time is right to list or search.

For timely market local data and to get a confidential market review of your home, please contact The Faulkner Team,


August Housing Trends

Capitol Hill

Home prices and values continue to reflect stability in the highly competitive real estate market in Greater Washington. Now that the August numbers are released, trends we have followed build the case:  home buyers are moving quickly, sellers are getting value, and quality-of-life factors shape the DC market in more interesting ways than ever.

National Housing Trends

In the US, housing starts in August reflected a slight increase, as reported by Eye on Housing. And according to Calculated Risk, mortgage applications increased, despite the highest average interest rate for 30-year fixed since April 2011, topping at 4.88%. The Consumer Price Index increased to a seasonally-adjusted 2.7%. This suggests that interest rates may continue to rise gradually as the inflation numbers and the threats (and realities) of international trade wars affect our national economy.


The DC market in August continues at a healthy pace. Closed sales are nearly flat, up only 0.5% from a year ago. And Days on Market, always in DC a showcase of tight inventory, remains unchanged year-over-year at 13. Two slight increases worth noting: 1) the median sold price in DC in August was $560,000, up 2.8% from this time last year; and 2) the median price per square foot was $553, up 6.4%. These stats are from Bright MLS, the regional real estate service used by licensed realtors throughout Greater Washington.

Other Interesting Notes

The Faulkner Team is an experienced, high-service residential real estate team based in Gaithersburg, MD. All three team members are licensed realtors. The team specializes in Montgomery County but has license representation also in the District and Northern Virginia. If you’d like to have a conversation with us, please reach out to Diane (301-318-0334), Lynn (301-466-6519) or Steve (301-351-9514).


The Latest on the Housing Market

Home values up — construction up — mortgage rates up — home prices “less up” — housing starts flat — lots of down and up in the residential housing market. What does it mean? And more importantly, what does it mean to you?

According to the August 16 issue of Eye on Housing, housing starts in July are considered to be flat for the month. And reports that existing home sales have slid and that “buyers may be reaching their limits.” But these are not necessarily evil omens for inventories when compared to other important stats in the residential real estate market. The “slide” in existing home sales is a whopping 0.6% — not a crisis. Further, although the EOH reports flat starts for the month, they also report that in fact the starts are up year-over-year by 6.2%. The same issue reports that townhouse construction is up because renters are looking for walkable communities. (Zillow reports that 60.8% of housing in DC is rental, fifth in the nation.)

This reflects a mild silver lining in a trend of rising mortgage rates (now up to an average of 4.6%) and rising construction costs and the threat of tariffs. One interesting trend to watch:  Zillow Research reports that sellers of high end homes are discounting their listing prices.

20878 – Gaithersburg and North Potomac

In Montgomery County, and within our home market of Gaithersburg and North Potomac, home values are steadily increasing, but supply is getting tighter. According to Bright MLS, the regional tracking system for the residential real estate industry, July median sold prices are up 6% over the same period last year, and in 20878, they are up 5.5%. But there are fewer properties on the market. Active listings in 20878 from a year ago are down 15.5% and sold listings are down 9%. A further reflection of tightening inventory:  median days on market is now 10….down 58%.

What About DC

As usual, the issue in the City is inventory. Much of the residential market in DC is essentially unchanged. According to Bright MLS, months of supply is 1.9, same as it has been over a five-year period. Median Days on Market (if you’re thinking about selling) continues at 11 (quick!), a zero percent change. The median sold price is flat. On a negative note, active listings are down 15% from a year ago. The bottom line:  difficult in DC. And be ready to pounce when you find the property you want.

The best way to navigate the ups and downs is to have in your camp a trusted real estate professional along with your mortgage banker, inspector and other consultants who have “been there” many times and can greatly ease the stress of home listing and buying.

Contact: Steve Longley, The Faulkner Team, 301-351-9514,

June Home Sales — Good Trends!

The District’s housing market is showing signs of both stability and tension. For a long time, and for some time to come, homes are scooped up at about the rate of Metro’s non-rush hour station stops. The market has been defined by multiple offers, rising prices, dwindling inventory and, well, apartment living.

The June numbers are in from MRIS which is our regional information portal. The median sold price for homes in DC in June is $603,375, up only 2.3% from this time a year ago. Median price per square foot is holding steady; and months of supply is still 2. In a display of continued good health, active listings in June were 1,484 compared to 1,365 this time a year ago.

What does it mean? As usual, be ready with your offer. But the market is moving well, inventory and listings are thriving and prices are, as expected, inching forward. Despite the upward movement of interest rates and the natural proclivity to rent during times of tight inventory and expensive mortgages, DC continues to be an attractive city in which to secure housing.

Backing these trends, note Redfin’s national May Mortgage Survey. Of 4,000 people polled, only 5% have postponed their search because of rising interest rates. An interesting 32% are waiting/hoping rates will go down (good luck) and an impressive 19% are fast-tracking their search before rates increase further.

In other DC news, we are all thrilled with the opening this weekend of Audi Field, the new home of DC United. The stadium is a $400M investment in the culture and value of the Greater Washington area.

DC Urban Turf has a nice article on the DC area condo market. They report prices are up 1% and the pipeline is up 3% over this time last year.

The Faulkner Team’s home market — 20878 — which is in the heart of the 7th most expensive state to live in as reported by Bethesda Magazine — is also experiencing a stable and steadily increasing residential real estate market. The median sold price for June in Gaithersburg/North Potomac is $565,000, up 18% over this time last year; and price per square foot is up 2% at $282. Median Days on Market is holding steady at 10, and months of supply has increased slightly to 2.5. Again reflective of a healthy regional economy, our market is attractive to homeowners and stable for listers.

For more information, or to talk to us, please reach out to The Faulkner Team, 301-318-0334, or contact me directly at, 301-351-9514.

Steve Longley


Home Prices, Transportation….and Flying Cars


There is good news for both buyers and sellers in the recent stats coming out of the housing market. Home values have been consistently strong throughout Greater Washington, and inventories in the City have been notoriously difficult. In Urban Turf’s recent report, October median sale prices in DC have gone up 1.3% over October last year, an improvement over some stagnant months. It represents encouragement for those wishing to list, but it is an increase that does not intimidate buyers. No worries; buyers are not intimidated, because properties do not sit on the market long. But inventories are up as well….good news for buyers. Inventories of new listings in the District increased 18.9% over the same period.

And Montgomery County, home market for The Faulkner Team, also shows increases in inventory, 2.7% YOY according to the recent report by Maryland REALTOR. The median sale price, however, has dropped slightly, off 1.4% to $398,000.

Another strong note for the economy is taken from Bill McBride’s column from Calculated Risk. He notes that the prime working age, 25 to 54, is on the increase and has nearly reached 2007 levels. Translation:  more working adults who are ready to buy. They are consumers, borrowers and homeowners.

Kudos to Greater Greater Washington for calling out the lackluster stamina of our regional leadership in declining to fund Metro long-term. This is a disgrace to our region. Further stopgap funding only makes the system less stable, less reliable, less safe. In my opinion, the regional leadership is doing its best and would gladly take suggestions on how to convince state and local lawmakers to allocate the appropriate funds. The victims here are the heavily-resourced taxpayers and visitors to our Nation’s Capital. On a brighter view, take a look at Greater Greater Washington’s article on Live Map 24 by Veridict. It’s a cool map that shows real-time mass transit in major cities all over the world, including ours.

Finally, flying cars by Uber by 2020. Possible? Check out Jack Stewart’s article in WIRED. According to his report, it’s entirely possible, since we have helicopters flying at low altitudes over cities all the time. Uber has gathered an impressive set of partners that have the ability to make this happen.

Steve Longley

Kentlands Real Estate Report – Gatehouse

Gatehouse District, Detail Trends & Analysis, 2012 – June, 2017

Massbury Street, Clagett Crossing Place, Parts of Kent Oaks Way, Beckwith Street, Parts of Tschiffely Square Road, Lake Street, Thrift Street, Holmard Street



❖Gatehouse properties are highly valued in the Kentlands community, growing at a healthy rate for both townhouse and detached homes.

❖Tax assessed value in Gatehouse has risen at a rate lower than other neighborhoods within Kentlands.

Kentlands is a set of districts — neighborhoods — each with some unique characteristics but all knit together to form this distinct community of parks, lakes, retail, arts and new urbanist residential architecture. The Kentlands Real Estate Report is an analysis of the trends in sold properties within these neighborhoods over the period from 2012 through June, 2017.

Gatehouse is the first of Kentlands’ neighborhoods to be established, but it was not finished until the homes on Lake Street were built. Gatehouse is comprised mostly of detached homes, and there are several townhouses as well; of the 59 transactions I analyzed from 2012 through June 2017, 48 were detached homes. Gatehouse is known for its spacious lots, brick sidewalks and proximity to Kentlands’ lakes and walking paths.

It’s not surprising that as prices rise, days on market drops. What is surprising is that Gatehouse detached homes increased in median net sales by 36% between 2012 and June, 2017.

The gap between tax assessed value and net sale means that it took a couple of years before property assessments caught up with market value. The gap has closed significantly, nearer the gap in 2012 and 2013. What does this mean to you?

It means if you list your property, you generally expect to receive a certain market percentage over the tax assessed value when you secure a contract; and if the gap is narrow, or inverted, you net less because you’ve paid the gap in property taxes. You can appeal your assessment if you think it is unfair. But only the market, and your property’s condition, can determine the real value.

The median net sale is the highest in the community. Tax assessed value, however, has risen less than other neighborhoods. That means Gatehouse has managed to keep its property assessments below the rest of the market.

3 Good Things You Can Do To Protect the Value of Your Home

Get Good Advice

❖If you are wondering about the value of your home, or how to increase equity to improve your financial options, or where to get the best unvarnished direction on who to use for home improvement, make sure you invest in the right set of professionals — realtor, attorney, financial advisor, contractor — to clarify your goals and take the next step.

Keep Your Home in Good Operating Condition

❖Clean out the gutters, correct any leaks, check out the roof, get the life span of your HVAC, clean your windows, replace carpet. These things don’t necessarily return dollar-for-dollar on investment, but they make a huge difference when you are getting ready to list.

Get Your Home Looking Good

❖If you are going to remodel, it’s always the kitchen and bath that gain the most attention. Then take a strong look at curb appeal — nice front landscaping, repainted or stained deck, maybe a patio. These are items that tend to make the highest return on investment. Plus, they make for a nicer home!

The Faulkner Team starts with our team leader, Diane Faulkner. “Going the Extra Mile” reflects Diane’s leadership and our team’s entire philosophy —- negotiating price, analyzing market trends, interpreting value….and yes, bringing over artwork, fixing an appliance, letting out the dog —- taking every step and seeing the extra mile ahead to successfully get to settlement.

Kentlands Hill District 5 Year Trends

Kentlands Real Estate Report© 2012 – June, 2017 Hill District

Steve Longley
The Faulkner Team

  • As goes the Hill District, so goes Kentlands. The Hill recorded 40% of all detached and townhouse sales during this period.
  • Average net price per square foot has a 7.6% growth rate during this period, second among Kentlands neighborhoods.
  • Townhouses and detached homes are close in average net price per square foot, but the trend shows some opposite growth patterns.

You can download the full report at

Overview and Terms

  • “Much sought-after Kentlands” —- this phrase is in nearly every real estate marketing piece referring to homes in this community. As a realtor and a marketing consultant — and an 18- year Kentlands resident — the phrase still holds true. This unique community is known for its wooded parks, traditional architecture and new urbanist design. And my family and I would add the friendly and caring neighbors to this list.
  • From the successful design of the community comes the value of its property. This report explores the selling trends that are behind the external qualities of this vibrant community.
  • Kentlands home prices are rising but not as fast as they used to. There have been peaks and valleys before; the good news for sellers is that a well-maintained home has strong market potential. The good news for buyers is that there is a variety of housing inventory that steadily becomes available.
  • But trends are not similar across the board. Property value is influenced by a series of dynamic relationships that impact this residential real estate market. Kentlands is comprised of districts — small neighborhoods — that vary in growth rates; and it incorporates a slate of categories including condos, townhouses and detached homes. Recent local property tax increases have affected sellers’ margins. The average length of time a home is available for sale in Kentlands has widened. Most homes are 20-25 years old. These are factors that are measured; more subjective measures, such as home buyers’ needs and the layout and upkeep of a home also bring unique circumstances to the analysis of the Kentlands market.
  • I looked at selling trends from 2012 through June of this year — over 550 properties. I think it was a comprehensive analysis of all properties sold, but in case I missed a couple, I will say my search of the MLS (the real estate listing database) requested all properties sold “in Kentlands.” And 550 is in any case a large number of transactions for one community, and that quantity over time can support helpful analysis.
  • Over this 5+ year period, median net sale prices of combined townhouses and detached homes increased from $606,000 to $710,000, a solid 17% growth rate. Per square foot condo prices rose from $206 to $235, also a healthy increase. But detached homes during the same period, also net per square foot, declined from $325 to $320. Tax assessed value for condos rose 18% over the 5 year period, but detached homes increased only 0.3%, and townhouses 7%. Yet one neighborhood in Kentlands — one of the districts — had an average increase in tax assessed value of over 24%. That doesn’t mean TAXES rose that much, but the average assessed value of the homes that sold during that period did.
  • What does all this mean? And is there enough variance to warrant concern? And what do these terms show us? Realtors throw around a lot of terms and phrases and most of them are relevant to home values. Here are a few that I use in this report ——
  • Median Net Sale. This is the sales price of the middle transaction during a given period. Median is helpful; because if a couple of homes sold at unusually high or low prices, the average of the total number is not as realistic to a typical home being listed for sale.
  • Average Price Per Square Foot (PSF). Assessing the value of your home often starts with average PSF, and comparable homes in your neighborhood will present an average around which you can expect to sell if you wanted to list your home. In Kentlands, each neighborhood (district) has a variety of house categories, including townhouses, large detached homes, small cottages, etc., so using price per square foot, instead of net sale price, can reflect the relative value of the full variety of homes that either fit your neighborhood or match your house category.
  • Tax Assessed Value. Our governments set property tax rates that are applied to the value of your home. In Montgomery County, the property taxes support many important services, like schools, roads, and safety. The tax rates are assessed on each property, and the assessment is adjusted each year (usually higher!) and applied to the value of your home. So tax assessed value is the government’s equivalent of your home’s worth for tax purposes. And the assessment is used by appraisers to establish value when you sell your home. When a home is purchased, it sells for a certain percentage over the tax assessed value. This percentage is an important factor in tracking increases (or decreases) in home values.
  • Margin. The gap between how much it cost to maintain and sell your home and how much the sale of your home netted to you. A positive, or healthy margin is what you expect to gain (similar to a capital gain), and margins are influenced directly and indirectly by many factors.
  • Days on Market. Simple — this is the length of time a home stays “for sale” between the date it is listed and the date it has a ratified contract. Average DOM is good for purposes of tracking large numbers of transactions. Median DOM is a little better because the outlier extended listing can skew practical results, so median presents a stronger view of a property or neighborhood’s supply-and-demand schedule.
  • Why Now? It has been approximately 5 years since the Recession, so with relatively stable housing statistics, this is a good time to view comparative strength in the Kentlands market. And mid-year is a great time to prep for the fall and spring real estate markets. For those considering the value of their property, understanding historical data can provide valuable decision-making tools.Kentlands is a set of districts — neighborhoods — each with some unique characteristics but all knit together to form this distinct community of parks, lakes, retail, arts and new urbanist residential architecture. The Kentlands Real Estate Report is an analysis of the trends in sold properties within these neighborhoods over the period from 2012 through June, 2017.

Some of these neighborhoods are small and have been combined for the purpose of analysis. But the Hill District is large, not only because of its geographic footprint in Kentlands but also because of its density. Of the 267 transactions of townhouses and detached homes that I tracked over this 5+ year period, 108 were homes in the Hill, a full 40%.

3 Good Things You Can Do To Protect the Value of Your Home

1. Get Good Advice

If you are wondering about the value of your home, or how to increase equity to improve your financial options, or where to get the best unvarnished direction on who to use for home improvement, make sure you invest in the right set of professionals — realtor, attorney, financial advisor, contractor — to clarify your goals and take the next step.

2. Keep Your Home in Good Operating Condition

Clean out the gutters, correct any leaks, check out the roof, get the life span of your HVAC, clean your windows, replace carpet. These things don’t necessarily return dollar-for-dollar on investment, but they make a huge difference when you are getting ready to list.

3. Get Your Home Looking Good

If you are going to remodel, it’s always the kitchen and bath that gain the most attention. Then take a strong look at curb appeal — nice front landscaping, repainted or stained deck, maybe a patio. These are items that tend to make the highest return on investment. Plus, they make for a nicer home!

The Faulkner Team

The Faulkner Team starts with our team leader, Diane Faulkner. “Going the Extra Mile” reflects Diane’s leadership and our team’s entire philosophy —- negotiating price, analyzing market trends, interpreting value….and yes, bringing over artwork, fixing an appliance, letting out the dog —- taking every step and seeing the extra mile ahead to successfully get to settlement.

Steve Longley, Realtor The Faulkner Team

Kentlands Real Estate Report – Old Farm

The Faulkner Team

The Kentlands Real Estate Report(c) is an analysis of residential real estate trends from 2012 through June, 2017. Download this installment:  Kentlands Real Estate Report – Old Farm Aug 2017 – based on sales of detached homes and townhouses in the Old Farm neighborhood. An overview of this small neighborhood in the heart of Kentlands reveals that while Kentlands home property values remain relatively constant, homes in Old Farm are showing price increases above the average. Increases in tax assessments, however, are growing faster than net sales per square foot. Homeowners, and potential listers, in this neighborhood have to balance the inherent value associated with “much-sought-after” Kentlands with the need to keep updated their homes that are now 20-25 years old. Still, value in Kentlands, and particularly in Old Farm, continues at a strong pace.

Getting Creative with DC’s Housing Inventory

Anyone looking for a place to live in the District already knows:  housing inventory is extremely low. Competition for properties is active. And average Days on Market is in some neighborhoods less than a week!  Check out DC Urban Turf’s compilation of the fastest-selling neighborhoods in DC.  And if you’re renting, you’ll notice Petworth, known for its spacious lots and reasonable rates, has rising rents, reported by Curbed DC.

But DC developers are always creative!  The Grimke School near U Street is getting 50 residential units. And if you thought you didn’t stand a prayer of finding a place, Capitol Hill is home to a church-turned-condo.  In Petworth, there is a newly-designated “Hop-Back” — units in the rear of a property. In areas of more traditional properties, check out the new designs for future housing at Walter Reed. And DC Urban Turf has reported that NoMa is announcing 4500 new residential units coming soon. Busy!  For interesting reading, check out Greater Greater Washington’s report on the Hopscotch Bridge, H Street over the tracks at Union Station. That area is undergoing dramatic transformation.

If you are already in DC and can’t take all the extra development, you will love CurbedDC’s map for introverts. Very cool.

MovinInDC is not complete without a qualified (experienced!) restaurant review. The Faulkner Team (Diane, Lynn, Steve) celebrated the spring real estate season with a terrific dinner at the 14th Street Tuscan restaurant, Ghibellina. We highly recommend their Halibut, and for a non-traditional wine, we had an upscale Umbrian red that was outstanding. Nice place! Faulkner Team at Ghibellina

The Week in Real Estate 3/16/2017

The Faulkner Team

RATES.  Those of you in finance and tracking mortgages realize the Fed is coming around on its pledge to raise basis points interest rates intermittently. The first one of 2017 (second in three months) just arrived. And although the increase is moderate to minimal, the expected cumulative increase over time will certainly impact mortgages. Check out details in these links from HousingWire and CalculatedRisk. There is a parallel rise in the CPI. And the bottom line at this point:  the economy is solid, and if you are looking for a mortgage, the rates are still quite reasonable.

Speaking of rates, and continuing an earlier reported trend, home prices in the DC area reached a decade-long high in February. This is both good news and bad, ie, good and good. If you are listing, your home values are generally strong, especially if you have kept your property in excellent condition. If you are buying, it does not mean the market has peaked, but it does reflect both the tight inventory in the close-in parts of Greater Washington and the strength of the market to a new homeowner.

RIDES. Are you a Bikeshare rider? You’ll be interested to know, as just released by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, through CurbedDC, that Bikeshare ridership has expanded by 825% since 2010. This reflects the creative capacity of the region to provide alternate ways of getting around and that the program is working. 825% is awesome!

Georgetown has hired a designer to restore a 1-mile stretch of the C&O Canal. For details, check this link.

ROOFS. April is Architecture Month in DC. There are a ton of relevant and exciting events and programs slated for next month provided through the AIA that will highlight the trends and award-winning architecture throughout the City.

Finally, what’s MovinInDC without a quick review! The Faulkner Team (Diane, Lynn and I) were thrilled to attend the Environmental Film Festival at the Carnegie Institution last night in the Logan Circle area. Great film called Sea of Hope which you can find on the National Geographic Chanel. Prior to the film, as always, happy hour — at Logan Tavern, great food, nice service, awesome drafts! Lynn Diane Steve 2016

“Winter is Coming” but Housing is Heating Up

Game of Thrones is famous for many reasons, not the least of which is the phrase on everyone’s lips, “Winter is Coming” — yet for real estate, the ominous winter is not to be dreaded. Indicators in home construction, lending, buying and yes, even listing, is far from pessimistic. True that traffic in home sales drops off in winter (great for buyers), but also true:  If you are in the DC market, and listing or buying is on your agenda, think of it as “almost-spring”!

The Case-Shiller report is out on the National Price Index, which is up, as expected, on a year-over-year basis (September stats). There are 20 cities in their index….all of them gained. Eye on Housing (a dot-gov publication) interprets the index gain as 10.4%, seasonally adjusted, the fastest growth in three years. And although mortgage rates are on the rise, they are still very market-friendly. In fact, AD&C lending (a strong marker for how the financial sector sees construction) continues to move in a favorable direction.

Locally, construction and inventory in the District is highly competitive. Curbed DC reports that DC home values are “heating up,” and with such low inventory, we expect values to increase over the coming months. And according to Redfin, housing demand leveled off nationally, but in DC, the demand is up significantly. Also — beneficial to realtors and movers — DC ranks nationally as the 4th most transient city in America. This means the market is very dynamic, ie, tight for inventory, competitive on price, and highly active.

stanton-park-ebenezer-coffeehouse-2nd-f-sts-neIf you are a first-time home-buyer, check out GreaterGreaterWashington’s article on buying your first home. Keep in mind that local jurisdictions have some incentives. We are seeing larger down payments and smaller first-time condos and single-family properties, and you’ll see better values in the outer suburbs (if you can tolerate “SafeTrack” on Metro!).

Our recommendation:  The Faulkner Team. Diane, Lynn and I can show you properties in your preferred range and area, and we can give you solid advice on how to prepare your home for listing.

But what if you are neither buying or listing this winter or spring? How should you add value to your home? First, before “winter comes,” you should shore up anything externally on your property that could be damaged by winter storms….dangling tree limbs, loose railings, etc. And consider a remodel of your kitchen or bathrooms, always a great use of your hard-earned money! I loved the article in Wired on thten-penhe Smart Kitchen.

Finally, what’s a MovinInDC blog without a restaurant review!  One of our favorite restaurants years ago was Ten Penh (on 10th & Pennsylvania). It is now reopening in Tysons (7900 Westpark, free valet parking). Lynn and I had a great dinner there this week in advance of the opening. It is outstanding. The wine list is interesting and fairly priced. But above all, the “asian contemporary” (their word, not mine) cuisine is terrific, well-balanced and highly creative.
MovinInDC is a blogpost for people moving in, to and around the DC area. For more information on the news, ideas and trends in this post, please contact Steve Longley,, and check out our website, To unsubscribe from this post, please click on the Unsubscribe link below.

MovinIn — Capitol Hill


MovinIn Capitol Hill

Happy Election Day! Capitol Hill will be changing in dramatic ways after today’s elections throughout the country. It is also undergoing change in its community and residential profile. The Hill has always been a charming and authentic neighborhood. Recent developments are worth noting:

Warehouse conversions bring unique and fun architectural style to condos. DC Urban Turf reports on the latest conversion…looks great, but there will only be two units coming from this conversion. Still cool.  They also report on the the upgraded development at Buchanan Park which will supply townhouses very close to Eastern Market.  For those who frequent the Capitol Hill SE Safeway, get ready to find a new place to shop. Foulger-Pratt will be closing it for two years while they renovate it to be larger and “fresher”.  Finally (for now), you can count on The Hill is Home for interesting look-backs — this week on a lively bowling and bar scene that was an active saloon during the mid-1800s. Good read.

Meanwhile in Bethesda….

Do not miss Kapnos Kouzine at Hampden and Woodmont in Bethesda. Our recent dinner there was outstanding. Lynn and I had the Bronzino for 2, unbelievably good. And in typical tapas style – and these tapas are large — the roasted cauliflower was our top choice. Definitely worth a trip.

The Faulkner Team is a residential real estate team consisting of Diane Faulkner, Lynn and Steve Longley. We are headquartered in Kentlands, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and our team is licensed throughout the Greater Washington area. We would love to work with you on your next move. Please see our site,

What to Make of the Recent Economic Stats

Capitol Hill

What to Make of the Recent Economic Stats

Real estate is remarkable in both its opportunism and its resilience. Bounce back (it has), trend up (it does), and both lead and lag, the industry is constantly responding, reacting, and adjusting. That’s why your home – present and future – holds so much value for you. So in that context….what is the meaning of the current economic climate reflected in the recently released national statistics:

The Consumer Price Index rose slightly in September. Appropriately, mortgage rates have risen to above 3.5% in what may become the start of a trend. Rates have remained low for many months, and with the CPI and mortgage rates increasing, we could see a decline in home sales in the coming months. Yet Redfin reports steady growth in home sales in September, a pretty good indicator that rates have not increased to an uncomfortable level. The Fed has been poised for an increase for many months, and while some observers think the delay is politically motivated, it seems a certainty that rates will go up some time during the first quarter of 2017. Look for another increase in mortgage rates in 2017. A good sign for all, however, is Eye on Housing’s report that builder confidence is solid in October.

Realtors can live with these numbers. Sellers can too, especially with the chronically low housing inventory in Greater Washington. Buyers may take a slight hit in their loans, but their increases, if managed correctly by the financial sector, still point to a solid advantage in owning a home.

For First-Time Home Buyers

Last week’s news pointed toward an encouraging opportunity for buying a home. DC Curbed cited a Trulia survey that buying is cheaper than renting (I know a realtor who would agree with that!)….36% cheaper. And both the Wall Street Journal and Eye on Housing wrote that the current economy is demonstrating positive outcomes for first-time home buyers.

If you are contemplating your first purchase, keep in mind that programs exist in your favor. Some offer lower down payments; and there are jurisdictionally-specific opportunities you will want to explore. When you are ready (and now really is a good time), discuss with your lender the options you may have. And Diane, Lynn and I can work with you to find a home that fits your housing and financial goals (

Lots Going on in Bethesda

A couple of months ago, Clark Construction baffled some of us who love Bethesda with its opposition to a plan for downtown Bethesda. Now apparently, three recent developments:  1) Clark is now supporting the plan by Brookfield to develop space by the Bethesda Metro; 2) Clark wants to be more involved in manipulating the outcome of this space; 3) the story continues to evolve. Who knows what will happen next, but it will likely mean more density. Which is fine with me, because where Bethesda is involved, more density means more great restaurants! But we may not have a resolution of the Clark-Brookfield “discussion” for a long time.

Meanwhile, check out Bethesda Magazine’s showcase of Solaire.  Nice!

Just for Fun

Can’t miss this good stuff:

MovinInDC is a blogpost for people interested in moving to and within DC and the surrounding neighborhoods. Steve Longley is a realtor with The FaulknerTeam at RE/MAX Metropolitan Realty. Please visit our website for properties and neighborhood reports of interest. As always, we would love to work with you if you are thinking about listing your home or would like to visit properties in the area.

Three DC Neighborhoods Stack Up: Notes on Logan Circle, Capitol Hill and Columbia Heights

Capitol Hill

Two-Year Trends in Logan Circle, Capitol Hill and Columbia Heights

Why these three neighborhoods? Because they (among others) are exciting and relevant.  Logan is a rapidly-evolving community that encompasses not only the Circle, but also upper 14th Street, parts of Shaw, and the east side of Dupont. There are wide swings in home prices in Logan, primarily because there is a swath of diverse offerings. Capitol Hill is a traditional neighborhood with long-standing home ownership and retail and great proximity to federal government office buildings, the Mall, and Eastern Market and Barracks Row. Columbia Heights is anchored by the Metro, Target and other strong retail stores and is experiencing very interesting residential real estate growth.

Trends in Median Sold Properties.  (I use MRIS, Redfin and Since October of last year, median sold properties in Logan Circle have been $554,000 (October 2015), $714,000 (March 2016) and $699,000 (July 2016). October ’16 statistics should help define the trend, if we can detect anything new.  On the Hill, median sold properties are declining slightly:  $800,000 to $783,000 to $780,000 (over the same months).  In Columbia Heights, there are more stable increases:  $528,000 to $537,000 to $550,000. Although the increases are slight, they are continually upward. Logan seems to be thcapitol-hill-4e area to watch since home prices went up 28% before they declined only 2% to the July mark.

Trends in Median Sold Per Square Foot.  Starting from October 2014 to July 2016, the Logan Circle community has been surprisingly stable, starting at $640 and ending at $695.  Capitol Hill during the same period was $548 and is now $586.  Columbia Heights started at $450 in October 2014, increased to $487 in October 2015, and landed in July at $546, again, solid growth.

Other News

If you are contemplating a renovation before listing your home, check out the article by Redfin on managing your insurance. Two main factors impacting a review:  the renovations will make your home more expensive to replace; and if you use energy-efficient systems, you may find discounts.

And if you are considering a move to the city, or are downsizing to a Bethesda condo, there is a nice piece on portable moving containers…worth reading prior to loading up at those pricey storage and container shops.

Finally, I have received the most feedback (why??!!) on restaurants I have (mostly) liked. A couple of weeks ago, Lynn and I a couple of friends thoroughly enjoyed Fiola Mare in Georgetown. img_0700 There is a good reason for the renown of this terrific establishment.  First, the service, from the front staff to the sommelier to the knowledgeable waiters was second to none. When great food is matched by great service, it is a truly fabulous experience.   But the food…wow…shaved white truffle (by the gram) on our lobster ravioli, the burrata with beets, and the Halibut were incredible. A memorable evening…hopefully often repeated!

As always, if you are interested in seeing properties in Columbia Heights, Logan Circle or Capitol Hill, or anywhere in the Greater Washington area, please contact The Faulkner Team. We would love to hear from you and help you accomplish your real estate goals.

MovinInDC is a real estate neighborhood blogpost for people interested in keeping up with community growth and culture in DC. Steve Longley is a Realtor with The Faulkner Team of RE/MAX Metropolitan Realty.


Getting Around (The Way It Is) in DC

With parking at a premium, traffic at an unconscionable high, and with Metro’s “safetracking”….wow, no wonder the new way of getting around in DC is so creative. We want to be in the City, and we want to move about while we are here, but the traditional modes of transportation seem less and less viable. And yet the bet is on living in DC, why, because of the obvious benefits:  great work, growing neighborhoods, fantastic restaurants and bars, world-class museums, parks, plenty of volunteer opportunities. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the recent media on getting around in the City:

Washington, DC is a fantastic city for bikeriding. Noted in prior blogs, DC has dedicated bike lanes and new bike paths that make it easy to get around. To top it off, DC was just named the 9th best biking city in the U.S.

Want to give Uber some competition? If you are in Wards 4, 7 or 8, you will notice a new effort by taxis to provide fixed route service. That will make it easier to travel within those parts of the City. And if you’re walking, GreaterGreaterWashington has put together a nice map that shows great value in transportation and affordable housing.

You may know that Park Day was highly successful. We are now seeing parks show up in all kinds of interesting places. And DC Curbed has a good article on mini parks around the City.

Looking for a place to live? We are getting a good look at what’s happening around Walter Reed on Georgia Avenue, a foretaste of good things to come in this newly imagined part of DC. As always, if you are actively searching or need a review of your home for listing, contact The Faulkner Team. Our goal is to help you reach your real estate goals.

brunch-at-due-southWhen it comes to getting around in DC, the dogs may have it better than we do. This past weekend, Lynn and I had a good brunch at Due South, the deep southern outpost at the Navy yard (next to one of our favorite restaurants, Osteria Morini).  Due South cooks in the old style, but don’t get fooled by the spic…their buffalo-style chicken and Alabama Sauce are memorable. Brunch was good, the day was perfect, and after, webarktoberfest-2 stopped by Barktoberfest…fabulous day in the City.

Steve Longley, The Faulkner Team and



Your Home’s Quality of Life



YES! Your home has a quality of life! In the DC market, with inventory low and multiple contracts placed on most listings, your home has good reason to be competitive in every way. Two specific points:

Solar panels.  We are noticing increased use of solar energy in new and old homes. As climate change continues to influence our choice of energy sources, this is one that could pay off in a significant way. Check out Curbed’s report on Elon Musk’s solar venture. 

Also in Curbed is an excellent summary of Coldwell Banker’s survey on smart home technology. A strong 44% of people who want a move-in-ready home expect the home to be outfitted with smart tech.

Who wouldn’t want smart technology in the home:  With the highest percentage in history (recent history, I assume) of Millenials living at home, and with the first winery in DC scheduled to open next year, homeowners in Greater Washington have good rationale to be out of the house and will want to tap that smart tech in many ways.

See this article also on Steve’s blogpost, MovinInDC, featuring residential real estate, neighborhood development and new interests in and around the DC area.


One more note on happenings in the District, if you’ve been following improvements in the Navy Yard, take a look at Nena Perry-Brown’s article in UrbanTurf on the pre-construction of the long-in-the-works 11th Street Bridge Park…may start pre-construction this month.

DC continues to live up to its reputation as a great place to live and work. If you would like to discuss listing your home, or if you are interested in moving into the City, contact us!

Logan Circle/Estadio — Great Evening

Logan Circle


The Faulkner Team took the corner table at Estadio in Logan Circle. This is a great restaurant in a fabulous neghborhood!!  Estadio is a high-end tapas restaurant and bar on 14th Street just north of Logan Circle. It has earned its established reputation as one of the best restaurants in the City, and I can attest that it continues to excel and to add great value to the Logan Circle community.

Here’s a quick peek at a few of the superb plates —-

We tend toward the Pescados and Mariscos at Estadio, absolutely terrific fish and shellfish. Among the many items we tried, we loved the Soft Shell Crab, and the Bacalao (a raw cod soaked in olive oil, avocado, oranges and jalapeno).

Estadio's Bacalao

Estadio's Soft Shell CrabWe love creative cooking, so in addition to the fish tapas, we also tried Spice Grilled Chicken with Cabbage Slaw and Salsa Loca; Roasted Sweet Corn Alioli; and then back to seafood with Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Steamed Mussels, and Seared Alaskan Halibut with Fideo (a short noodle), Cherry Tomatoes and Marcona Pesto.  Awesome!


Estadio has a good bartender!

Everything tastes better with these inventive drinks, and since I was driving, I could only sip on half of one of these.

The celebration was my wife’s birthday, hosted by our good friend and team leader, Diane Faulkner. Diane leads our real estate work (, and Lynn and I spend a LOT of time in DC neighborhoods such as Logan Circle. We agreed next time we end up at Estadio, we are going to sit at the chef’s bar and watch the cooking!



5 Tips for Staging Your Home Both Inside and Out


Thoughtful home staging is more than just tidying up and cleaning every room. It could mean a quick sale and higher selling price if done right. Here are five ways you can leave a positive impression on potential buyers.

Clear the Clutter – Remove clutter from around your home. It’s easy to overlook things you see every day, so try to approach all spaces with fresh eyes. Consider having a friend come over to help point out unnecessary items.

Clean Out Closets and Cabinets – Make space in kitchen and bathroom cupboards, closets and other storage areas. Pre-pack items you don’t often use, and store or donate them. Cabinets and closets that are full will give potential buyers the impression that your home doesn’t have enough storage space.

Create a Flow – Potential homebuyers should be able to move through your house easily. Remove furniture, plants or decorative items that block the natural flow of traffic which will make your home appear larger and give a more open feel.

Remove Personal Items – Family pictures, children’s artwork and other personal items should be removed or significantly reduced. Personal belongings, displayed collections, throw blankets etc. can also make it hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Curb Appeal – Strong first impressions are key! Paint or clean the front door and replace the hardware if it looks worn. Replace the house numbers and exterior light fixtures if necessary. Keep the lawn mowed, add fresh mulch and trim the plants and bushes.

Residential listing Trends in Chevy Chase, Maryland

Chevy Chase Lake
Chevy Chase Lake

How are home values trending in Chevy Chase? Compared to neighboring communities, is Chevy Chase holding its own? We know the Town of Chevy Chase is exceptional, with stately homes, quiet streets, great schools and proximity to everything in Bethesda and the District. According to, listing trends in Chevy Chase have shown wider swings year-over- year than have Bethesda and Potomac.

Deeper Look
In April 2016 over April 2015, according to, listings in Bethesda were down 2.5%, in Potomac, down 3%, but Chevy Chase (MD), up 5% — – a swing of 8%. In July of ’15 over July ’14, Bethesda was up 11%, Potomac up 9%, but Chevy Chase was down 8%. And in terms of market stability, Bethesda and Potomac have been steadier than Chevy Chase.

MRIS Stats
Licensed realtors have the advantage of current and exact market statistics. According to the most recent data, May 2016, the immediate number of interest, in my opinion, is that Chevy Chase had an average “Days on Market” of 8. That means Chevy Chase, which typically has low inventory, is a highly desirable market, and if you are looking for your “dream home,” you need to be ready.

Don’t miss this trend…
Tracking listings from October of last year to April 2016, Bethesda is flat, Potomac is up 1%, and Chevy Chase is up a whopping 19%. While trends are finicky, and newer data is always right around the corner, this is very positive for such a fantastic community. If you are thinking about getting your home ready for sale for this fall, you may have a strong seller’s market ahead!

Bottom line:
Chevy Chase is a dynamic market, based on a strong heritage of quality homes, schools and neighborhoods. If you would like to discuss further, please contact the Faulkner Team:

Diane Faulkner, DIANE(at)FAULKNERTEAM(dotted)COM, 301.318.0334
Lynn Longley, LYNNLONGLEY(at)COMCAST(dotted)NET, 301.466.6519
Steve Longley, STEVELONGLEY(dotted)REALTOR(at)GMAIL(dotted)COM, 301.351.9514