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Shutdown blamed as DC-area home sales take a sharp dip

WASHINGTON — Before its end Friday, the partial government shutdown was coinciding with a sudden dip in real estate activity.

The number of homes sold so far this year in the immediate D.C. area was down 30 percent compared with the same period last year, according to numbers from Terradatum/Bright MLS, compiled by Long & Foster Real Estate.

The Baltimore area also saw a 30 percent drop.

“The government shutdown and inventory are probably 1A and 1B” as factors behind the swing, said Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of general brokerage for Long & Foster. The region has long dealt with a lack of homes for sale. Foster said he believed the shutdown and inventory issues were combining with gradually rising interest rates to cause “a bit of a perfect storm in our area right now.”

The shutdown “causes consumer-confidence issues,” he said. “And when people aren’t confident, they don’t buy and sell.”

The D.C.-area sales took place between Jan. 1 and Jan. 23 in Alexandria City, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia; Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; and D.C.

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