DC area home price gains continue in March despite sales declines

Posted on April 11, 2019 by Corey Hart



Washington D.C. Metro sets yet another March price record at $450,000; closed sales decline for eighth month in a row; inventory levels down for second consecutive month

Rockville, MD – (April 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 March 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report 


  • The March 2019 Washington D.C. Metro area median home price of $450,000 was up 3.4% or $15,000 from last year, the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was more than $2 billion, down 6.3% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 3,820 were down 9.9% from last year, the eighth month in a row of declines.
  • New pending sales compared to last year were, however, up by 2.2% to 5,995.
  • New listings compared to last year were down 3.6% to 7,307.
  • Active listings of 6,799 were down 9.7% from last year and remain well below historical levels. 
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 98.5%, the highest March level of the last decade.


  • March’s median sales price of $450,000 was up 3.4% or $15,000 compared to last year and up 5.4% or $23,000 compared to last month. 
  • Compared to last year, prices for single-family homes rose 3.7% to $560,000, townhomes rose by 3.0% to $442,900 and condo prices rose 1.6% to $315,000.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $420,800 and the 10-year average of $384,140.
  • This month’s median sales price is 45.2% higher than the March of 2010 price of $310,000.
  • Falls Church City has the most expensive homes in the region, with a median sales price of $816,200, a 48.5% increase from last March.  Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area, with a median sales price of just $300,000, an 11.1% increase over last year.
  • Prices were also up in Alexandria City (+24.3% to $579,250), in Arlington County (+4.8% to $591,555), in Fairfax County (+4.3% to $527,750), and in Washington D.C. (+3.5% to $575,000).  They were down in Montgomery County (-0.5% to $435,000) and in Fairfax City (-1.4% to $543,000).
  • For the year-to-date, prices across the region are up 3.4% to $429,000.


  • Closed sales were down 9.9% from last year to 3,820, but up a seasonal 33.1% from last month.
  • Sales of all property types were again down compared to last year, with single-family detached sales down 5.5% to 1,778, condos down 11.9% to 1,076, and townhomes down 15.4% to 961.
  • Sales are below the 5-year average of 3,985 but are above the 10-year average of 3,727.
  • March closed sales are 20.6% above the March 2014 trough of 3,168 but are 14.2% below the 2017 peak of 4,450.
  • Closed sales across the region were generally down, with the smallest percentage decline in Washington D.C. (-4.5% to 676) and the largest in Fairfax City (-36.1% to 23).  Only Falls Church City saw an increase, from 11 sales in 2018 to 14 in 2019.
  • For the year-to-date, regional closed sales are down 4.6% to 10,010.


  • New pending sales of 5,995 rose by 2.2% compared to last year and were up a seasonal 37.0% from last month.  
  • New pending sales of single-family detached homes were up 4.6% to 2,892 and new pending sales of condos were up 0.6% to 1,550 but townhomes were down 1.2% to 1,542.  
  • New pending sales are just above the 5-year average of 5,967 and the 10-year average of 5,665.
  • New pending sales this month were 19.6% more than the March 2014 low of 5,012 and are 4.1% below the peak March 2017 level of 6,254.
  • New pending sales activity was mixed, with Falls Church City showing the largest percentage increase in new pending sales (+22.7% to 27) and Arlington County showing the largest decline (-8.8% to 280). 


  • March’s new listings compared to last year declined by 3.6% to 7,307 but are up a seasonal 48.6% compared to last month. 
  • New listings of single-family homes compared to last year were flat at 3,747.  New townhome listings were down 6.2% to 1,743, and new condo listings were down 8.5% to 1,806.
  • New listings are below the 5-year average of 7,682 but are above the 10-year average of 7,238. 
  • March new listings were 12.5% below the March 2017 high of 8,352 but are 25.6% above the March 2013 low of 5,817.
  • New listing activity across the region was mostly down.  Only Washington D.C. (+1.2% to 1,234) saw a gain in new listings.  Elsewhere, the smallest percentage decline was in Fairfax County (-2.0% to 2,303) and the largest was in Falls Church City (-22.6% to 24).
  • For the year-to-date, regional new listings are down 3.0% to 16,667.


  • Active inventories of 6,799 were down 9.7% compared to last year but were up 8.0% compared to last month.
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached inventories were down 1.8% to 4,026, townhome inventories were down 12.1% to 1,250 and condo inventories were down 24.9% to 1,501. 
  • Inventories remain below both the 5-year average of 8,354 and the 10-year average of 9,475.
  • March inventory levels are just 8.1% above the 2013 low of 6,289 and are down 52.5% from the peak of 14,323 seen in March 2010.
  • March inventory levels increased in Washington D.C. (+7.3% to 1,236), but they declined everywhere else, with the smallest percentage decline in Prince George’s County (-4.2% to 1,536) and the largest in Alexandria City (-50.2% to 169).  


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for March was 98.5%, up just slightly from last year’s 98.4% and also up from last month’s 97.7%.
  • Townhomes have the highest March SP to OLP ratio of 99.6%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 98.5%, and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 98.0%.
  • March’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 97.8% and the 10-year average of 96.7%.
  • Over the last decade, the highest March average sales price to original listing price ratio was this month’s 98.5%.  The lowest was in 2011, when it was just 93.3%.
  • This month Alexandria City had the highest SP to OLP ratio of 100.1%, up from 98.5% last year.
  • Prince George’s County had the lowest SP to OLP ratio of 97.5%, down from last year’s 98.0%.
  • For the year to date, regional SP to OLP ratio is 97.8%, up from last year’s 97.7%.  


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 www.brightmls.com.

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 www.econ70.com.


dc metro, market analysis, press release
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