August sales dip slightly in DC Metro area while prices remain at peak levels

Posted on September 11, 2019 by Corey Hart



Washington D.C. Metro median sales price of $465,000 at August record; sales; inventory levels post largest decline in more than five years

Rockville, MD – (August 11, 2019) – The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of MarketStats by ShowingTime and is based on August 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The August 2019 Washington D.C. Metro area median home price of $465,000 was up 5.1% or $22,750 compared to last year, the highest August price of the decade.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly flat at $2.75 billion,
  • Closed sales of 4,907 were down 3.1% compared to last year and down 7.1% compared to last month.
  • New pending sales, however, were up by 2.1% to 4,845.
  • New listings of properties compared to last year declined by 6.8% to 5,657.
  • Overall inventory levels declined by 20.0% to just 7,743 active listings, the lowest August level this decade and the third month in a row of double-digit declines in year-over-year inventories.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 98.6%, up from 98.0% last year and at the highest August level of the last ten years.


  • August’s median sales price of $465,000 was up 5.1% or $22,750 compared to last year and was down a seasonal 1.1% or $5,000 from last month.   Generally, prices have been on a steady trend upward since mid-2016.
  • Compared to last year, prices for townhomes rose 3.4% to $440,000 and condos rose by 3.7% to $311,000.  Single-family detached prices rose 4.2% to $585,000.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $433,800 and the 10-year average of $409,500.
  • This month’s median sales price is 31.0% higher than the trough seen in August 2010 of $355,000.
  • Falls Church City saw the only decline in prices compared to last year (-14.8%) but continues to have the most expensive homes in the region, with a median sales price of $741,288.
  • Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area, with a median sales price of $309,950, a 5.1% increase over last year.
  • Everywhere else prices increased, with the largest percentage gain in Arlington County (+12.4% to $635,000) and the smallest in Washington D.C. (+2.0% to $571,000).
  • For the year-to-date, prices across the region are up 3.4% to $460,000.


  • Closed sales of 4,907 were down by 3.1% compared to last year and 7.1% from last month. 
  • Compared to last year, sales of single-family detached homes were up 3.1% to 2,350.  However, sales of condos were down 5.5% to 1,347 and sales of townhomes were down 11.5% to 1,203.
  • Sales are just below the 5-year average of 4,930 but remain above the 10-year average of 4,515.
  • August closed sales are 28.6% above the August 2010 trough of 3,816 and are 3.6% below the peak of 5,089 seen in August 2016.
  • Only Fairfax City (+13.9 to 41) and Montgomery County (+0.4% to 1,218) saw gains in closed sales.  Elsewhere sales were down, with the smallest percentage decline in Fairfax County (-0.2% to 1,457) and the largest percentage decline in Falls Church City (-27.3% to 16).
  • For the year to date, regional closed sales are down a slight 0.4% to 38,000.


  • There were 4,845 new pending sales, up 2.1% from last year but down 11.1% from last month.  
  • New pending sales of single-family detached homes were up 5.3% to 2,274, and new pending sales of condos were nearly flat at 1,295, but townhomes declined 1.7% to 1,273.
  • New pending sales are just above the 5-year average of 4,835 and easily exceed the 10-year average of 4,510.
  • New pending sales this month were 39.3% more than the August 2010 low of 3,477 and are 2.4% below the peak August 2017 level of 4,965.
  • New pending sales across the region were mixed, with Fairfax City seeing the largest percentage increase in new pending sales (+50.0% to 48) and Falls Church City having the largest percentage decline (-50.0% to 9).  Arlington County had the next largest change (-16.6% to 196).


  • New listings fell by 6.8% to 5,657, the third consecutive month of declines in new year-over-year listings.  They were down 6.6% compared to last month.
  • New listings of condos compared to last year were down 12.4% to 1,414, new listings of single-family homes were down 5.6% to 2,714, and townhomes were down 3.8% to 1,522.
  • New listings are below the 5-year average of 5,784 and just above the 10-year average of 5,478. 
  • August new listings are 18.6% above the August 2012 low of 4,769.
  • New listing activity across the region was mostly down, with only Fairfax City (+19.6% to 55) and Washington D.C. (+3.5% to 886) seeing increases.  The smallest percentage declines were in Fairfax County (-6.5% to 1,654) and Montgomery County (-6.5% to 1,282) and the largest decline was in Falls Church City (-66.7% to 9).
  • For the year-to-date, regional new listings are down 4.6% to 51,549.


  • Active inventories of 7,743 declined 20.0% compared to last year, the largest decline since June 2013, and the seventh consecutive month of declining year-over-year inventories.  Generally speaking, year-over-year inventory levels have declined since mid-2016.  Compared to last month, inventories were down 2.0%.
  • Compared to last year, townhome inventories are down 15.3% to 1,617, single-family detached inventories are down 16.0% to 4,469, and condo inventories are down 33.1% to 1,633. 
  • Inventories remain well below the 5-year average of 9,983 and the 10-year average of 10,912.
  • August inventory levels are less than half the peak of 16,216 seen in August 2010.
  • Inventory levels declined everywhere, with the smallest percentage decline in Washington D.C. (-0.2% to 1,317) and the largest percentage decline in Alexandria City (-63.7% to 146). 


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for August was 98.6%, up from last year’s 98.0% but down from last month’s 99.1% and at the highest level of the decade.
  • Townhomes have the highest August SP to OLP ratio of 99.4%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 98.7%, and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 98.1%.
  • August’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 97.8% and the 10-year average of 96.9%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest SP to OLP ratio was in August 2011, when it was just 94.2%.  The previous August high was in 2013 when it was 98.2%.
  • Only one jurisdiction saw an SP to OLP ratio above 100%, which was Alexandria City at 100.7% (compared to 97.8% last year). 
  • Falls Church City had the lowest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 96.5%, which was down significantly from 98.2% last year (but the limited number of sales in Falls Church City make the data highly variable).
  • For the year to date, regional SP to OLP ratio is 98.8%, up just slightly from last year’s 98.5%. 

About the DC Metro Housing Market Update

The DC Metro Area Housing Market Update provides unique insights into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales, trends by home characteristics, and key indicators through the most recent month compiled directly from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data in ShowingTime’s proprietary database. The DC Metro Area housing market includes: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland, and Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City in Virginia. Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

About Bright MLS

The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 85,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve over 20 million consumers. For more information, please visit

About Elliot Eisenberg

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is the Chief Economist of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, a firm specializing in economic consulting and data analysis.  He is a frequent speaker on topics including: economic forecasts, economic impact of industries such as homebuilding and tourism, consequences of government regulation, economic development and other current economic issues. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg was formerly a Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.   He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio, writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70 word commentary on the economy that is available at



dc metro, market analysis, press release
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