Sales Dip Slightly; Still High

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Byline: Chris Sicks, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Last month, the 2005 real estate market really got revved up. In a typical year, March, April and May are

the busiest three months for the Washington-region real estate market. So it was no surprise that more than 11,000 homes were sold last month and that sales chances hit 103 percent.

Sales chances are my way of measuring the level of competition in the real estate market. Dividing sales figures for the month by the inventory on the last day of the month results in a percentage. A figure below 20 percent indicates a buyer's market. Higher figures mean we're in a seller's market.

It may seem that we have been in a seller's market forever, but this one has only been around since 1999. The entire decade before 1999 was a buyer's market. Regional sales chances fell as low as 9 percent in the mid-1990s.

Someday, we surely will return to a buyer's market. …