Closed sales increase, but snowstorm chills January's listing and contract activity in DC Metro area

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Corey Hart



Prices dip 2.5% though closed sales up in all segments

Rockville, MD – (February 10, 2016) – The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and is based on January 2016 MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • January 2016’s median sales price of $375,500 was $9,500 less than last year, a 2.5% decrease. 
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $1.25 billion, up 2.7% from last January.
  • Sales in January remained strong, with a 5.8% gain, and sales gains in all property types. 
  • The number of new contracts at the end of January fell by 8% to 3,423, the first decline in 15 months and likely related to the late January snowstorm.
  • New listings of 4,025 were down 5.3% from last January, which was the first time in 14 months they decreased, also probably related to the bad weather.
  • After rising to a peak year-over-year increase of 34.6% in August 2014, inventory growth has steadily declined, and at 8,277 listings, is only 4.1% higher than a year ago.  Year-over-year inventory growth will likely turn negative sometime in 2016. 
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 96.0% in January, exceeded in the last 10 years by only the January 2014 ratio of 96.6%.
  • Half the homes sold in January were on market 44 days or less, down a day from last January’s median DOM and down by almost 50% from the all-time January high of 85 seen in 2008.



  • The region’s median price of $375,500 in January was 2.5% lower than last year, with single-family detached prices unchanged and townhomes and condo prices down.  This marks the second month in a row that overall prices have declined year-over-year.  However, prices still remain 5.3% above the 5-year average and 7.9% above the 10-year average.
  • Regional pricing levels are now 29.5% above the $290,000 January trough of the market in 2010, and only 7.3% off the $405,000 January peak in 2007.
  • Falls Church City remained the most expensive location in the region with a January median sales price of $747,000, a 31.2% increase over last year.
  • Prince George’s County continues to be the most affordable area in the region with a January median price of $241,000, which was an 11.1% increase over last year.



  • There were 2,702 closed sales in January, up 5.8% compared to 2015.  All types of properties saw increases in the number of sales.  Closed sales exceeded both the 5 and 10-year averages.
  • January’s closed sales total was up 46.1% compared to the market low of 1,849 seen in 2008, but was 20% below 2007’s peak level of 3,377.
  • Fairfax County had the most closed sales in January with 743, which was an increase of 5.4% from last year.
  • Prince George’s County saw the largest percentage increase in sales, where the 599 sales in January represented a 17.7% increase over last year.



  • There were 3,423 new pending sales at the end of January 2016, down 8% compared to last year, 6.8% below the 5-year average and just slightly below the 10-year average.
  • January 2016’s new pending sales total was up 41.8% compared to the January low of 2,414 seen in 2008, but was 17.6% below 2007’s peak level of 4,153.
  • Fairfax County had the most new pending contracts sales in January with 951, which was a decrease of 6.2% from last year.
  • All jurisdictions except Fairfax City and all property types saw decreases in the number of new contracts compared to last year.



  • The 4,025 new listings in January 2016 was a 5.3% decline compared to last year.
  • The January new listings are just slightly above the 10-year low of 4,004 seen in January 2013 and are a significant 43.5% below the January 2008 market peak of 7,120.
  • New listings in January were 2% below the 5-year average and 18.8% below the 10-year average.
  • All property types saw single-digit year-over-year decreases in the number of new listings.
  • Only Washington D.C. saw an increase in the number of new listings, with an 11.9% increase to 761 new listings.



  • Inventories increased to 8,277 at the end of January, a 4.1% increase compared to last year.
  • Inventories are slightly above the 5-year average of 7,823 but substantially below the 10-year average of 12,330.
  • Townhome inventories are down slightly, but single-family detached and condos are up.
  • End of January inventories exceed the low of 6,049 seen in 2013, but are down 62.7% from the peak of 22,201 seen in January 2008.
  • Washington D.C. had the largest percentage increase in year-end inventory with 1,114 active listings, an increase of 16.3% compared to last year.  Regional supply growth was seen in Fairfax County (+8.9%), Prince George’s County (+2.6%), Washington D.C (+16.3%), Arlington County (+0.7%) and Alexandria City (+0.3).  Montgomery County showed a decrease in the number of active listings (-2.7%), as did Fairfax City (-23.1%) and Falls Church City (-13.6%).



  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio for January was 96%, up from 95.7% last year.
  • Over the last decade, the region’s January average sales price to original listing price ratio ranged from a low of 90.0% in 2009 to a high of 96.6% in 2014.
  • Homes in Washington D.C. sold at 97.4% of their original listing price in January, the highest in the region and up slightly from the 96.9% seen last year.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Falls Church City, where the average ratio was 93.2%, down from the 96.3% seen last year.



  • The median days-on-market in January was 44 days, a one-day decrease from the median DOM of January 2015.
  • The lowest January DOM level recorded in the past decade was 32 days in 2013 and 2014; the highest January median DOM was 85 days in 2008.
  • The highest median DOM is in Falls Church City, where it is 92 days, a 52 day increase from last year.  The lowest median DOM is in Washington D.C., where it is 26 days, a decline of 2 days from last year.


About the RBI 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 RBI’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. 

About RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC

RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Monthly reports for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphics, can be found at RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the MRIS MLS.

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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