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Map: Overvalued Neighborhoods in Hyattsville

How important is a list price, anyway? See which neighborhoods' houses had a hard time making their list price last year with this interactive map.

Last week, we mapped real estate values in Hyattsville. Today we take a second look at those numbers to try and see which neighborhoods might be over and under valued. 

What you are looking at is a map which colors Hyattsville's neighborhoods by the percent above or below list price at which nearby homes sold last year. Red means homes had a hard time making their list price, yellow means they broke even, and green means they exceeded the list price. 

Overall, if you sold a home in Hyattsville last year, chances are you sold it for something pretty close to what you were asking for. The average house in Hyattsville last year sold at 1.7 percent below list price. But some surprising neighborhoods, including the Old Hyattsville area, had a very hard time meeting their list prices on the open market.

According to 2012 home sales data from the Metropolitan Region Information System, homes sold in Hyattsville at an average two percent below their list prices. Of the 123 homes sold in Hyattsville last year, 45 percent sold at or above their list price. Plotting list and sale price data into a map reveals the areas under and overvalued by real estate list prices. 

Neighborhoods surrounding Hyattsville Middle School, as well as neighborhoods to the north of Magruder Park, tended to command a sale price close to or above their list price.

Neighborhoods in Southern Hyattsville, home to some of the oldest and most expensive houses which sold last year in the city, had the hardest time meeting their list prices. In the neighborhood bound by Jefferson Street, Route 1 and 38th Avenue, only four of the  16 houses there sold at or above their list price.

Elsewhere, neighborhoods bordering Queens Chapel Road had a slightly hard time reaching their list price. 

Setting the list price involves a certain amount of economic gamesmanship. The seller wants to set an initial bargaining price high enough to get a favorable sale price, but low enough that potential buyers will not be scared away. 

Neighborhoods where homes tended to sell for below their list price could have been affected by a lack of demand and over-valuing. 

Baltimore Sun business reporter Jamie Smith Hopkins writes that a too-high list price can significantly delay the sale of a home.

"Plenty of buyers will snort at the asking price and click on the next listing, rather than coming out to look and making a much lower offer the owner might have been willing to take. And some folks who would have been ideal prospective buyers won't even see the online listing information because it's in the wrong price category," wrote Hopkins in a 2011 blog post, The risk in asking too much for your house.

Additionally, a neighborhood's ability to sell over list price could indicate an area of healthy buyer interest, one where the seller may be able to play multiple offers off each other to raise the final sale price.

FRANCINE ABELL (ROCKELLI) January 28, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Over priced and homeowner taxes based on it. I love how those taxes never reduced to equate with present market value. The law - overlooked again in Prince George's County. I look out my front door and see a street full of pot holes, a sidewalk crumbling, debris brought to the curb and never cleaned away although trash trucks pass it week after week. It's waiting to be reported. I try to glean a house number, but those are missing - and nothing, apparently, done by the County about that. And the list could go on and on.
s January 28, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Great information!
Jim Groves January 28, 2013 at 04:54 PM
@Francine Where in the City of Hyattsville is that? Most of the streets have been repaved, new sidewalks installed and from what I've seen a very responsive DPW. I'm thinking you are not in the City of Hyattsville.
Jim Groves January 28, 2013 at 04:58 PM
"heat" maps, while fun, don't work in all places. In this case, you need to make the color more transparent. Also, the blob of color on one house overlaps several so it's not that accurate from what I can tell. Something like this has less to do with the area and more to do with the actual house and what the person is asking for it. If I'd ask a million for my house and it sells for $100k, then I'm way in the red.
Michael Theis January 28, 2013 at 05:39 PM
I've gone in and added a transparency layer to the map, so it should be easier to orient oneself on the map. And this heat mapping program doesn't merely assign a blob of color to a particular point on a map. It averages the values behind the blob with other values nearby to produce the coloration seen on the map. While it is an average–susceptible to outlier skewing–it does a fairly good job of showing which neighborhoods had a particularly tough or easy time making their list price. Areas with the brightest green tended to have a number of houses which sold well above list price, areas with bright red tended to have the vast majority of houses sell well below their list price. Further, it's not like the list price is set in a vacuum. There can be very real consequences to setting an outlandish list price (house languishing on market, etc). Thus, the seller has an interest in providing a realistic valuation of their house.

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