Homes in Prince George's County continue to be cheaper by far than those in other suburban areas here, according to a review of sales over the summer.
The average price of a single-family home in Prince George's was $82,000 during the third quarter of 1984 -- $36,000 less than neighboring Montgomery County and $42,000 less than Fairfax County, according to the figures, which were compiled by Rufus S. Lusk & Son Inc.
Likewise the average price of a condominium in the county, $53,000, was well below the $82,000 and $88,000 average recorded in Fairfax and Montgomery, respectively.
Prince George's average prices were also far below the District's -- $122,000 for a house and $85,000 for a condo -- but sources in the real estate industry noted that figures in the city are pulled up by a relatively small number of very expensive sales, mostly west of Rock Creek Park. These "upper-bracket" sales -- a property in Georgetown went for just under $3 million during the quarter -- obscure the existence of many much less expensive homes, particularly in the eastern half of the city.
Prince George's County leaders have long been resentful of the jurisdiction's bargain-basement image, and they have sought through zoning and other land-use controls to attract more expensive housing as well as new commercial development. The Lusk data did show that prices are climbing in some parts of the county. Prices in the Camelot subdivision in the Glen Dale area averaged $141,000 in the quarter, making it the county's highest-priced, Lusk found.
On the other hand, homes in Mount Rainier averaged just over $47,000, making it the least expensive area. Homes in Brentwood averaged $53,000 and in Capitol Heights $57,000.
Hyattsville had the largest number of transactions, 571, of which 371 were houses, 192 were condominiums and eight were commercial. Houses there averaged $72,000 and condos $47,000, according to Lusk.
As a whole, the county showed 3,311 sales during the three months ending with September, for a total dollar volume of more than $333 million. Of these, 2,700 -- or 72 percent -- were single-family residences. For first three quarters of the year, Prince George's has recorded 9,725 sales totaling $951 million.
The Lusk data, which cover the District, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's -- the company plans to expand its computerized record-keeping to other jurisdictions in the near future -- indicate that more than 19,000 properties changed hands during the quarter, for a total dollar volume of $2.5 billion.
Fairfax was the busiest market, accounting for 41 percent of the transactions (7,713) and 42 percent of the dollar volume ($1.06 billion).
Montgomery was second in numbers of transactions with 5,479, or 29 percent, and in dollar volume with $714 million, which was also 29 percent. Prince George's was third in numbers of transactions, but trailed the District in dollar volume $333 million to $393 million.
Some 2,244 new single-family homes were sold in Fairfax during the quarter, compared to 1,671 in Montgomery and 634 in Prince George's. The number of new homes in the District was so small as to be not significant, Lusk said.
The most expensive home sale was the $3 million transaction in the District -- a property in Georgetown bought by Robert Bass of the wealthy Bass family of Fort Worth. The top residential price in Montgomery was $995,000, in Fairfax $680,000, and in Prince George's $235,000.