DC area home prices reach highest December level on record

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Corey Hart



December data demonstrates continued market tightening, with median sales price of $410,100 at highest December level on record and inventory levels declining for eighth consecutive month

Rockville, MD – (January 11, 2017) – 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 December 2016 MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • December 2016’s median sales price of $410,100 was up $15,100 or 3.8% compared to last year.  This is the highest December median sales price on record.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was $2.04 billion, down 0.9% from last December.
  • Closed sales of 4,023 were down 4.2% compared to last year.
  • New contracts increased by 1.7% to 3,538, the highest December level in a decade.
  • New listings of 3,089 decreased 0.5% compared to last year.
  • Active listings of 7,457 are down 13.7% compared to last year and down 18.5% compared to last month. This is the eighth consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in December was 97.0%, up from last year’s 96.4% but down from last month’s 97.2%.
  • The median days-on-market for December 2016 was 29 days, five days lower than last year.


  • December’s regional median sales price rose to $410,100, the highest December level this decade, a 3.8% or $15,100 increase over last year, and 0.8% higher than last month. 
  • This month, all property types saw increases in price, with townhomes up 3.6% to $404,000, single-family detached increasing 2.1% to $490,000 and condos increasing 1.5% to $299,500.    
  • Prices are above the 5-year average of $392,692 and the 10-year December average of $367,096.
  • The December median price for the region is 28.2% above the December 2009 low of $320,000.
  • Falls Church City resumed its position as the most expensive location in the region, with a median sales price of $678,750, 1.3% more than last year.  Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area in the region, with a December median sales price of $265,000, up 8.6% from last December. 
  • The 2016 regional median sales price is up 1.2% to $415,000.  For all of 2016, Prince George’s County (+8.5%) and Washington D.C. (+4.2%) lead the region in year-to-date price growth. Arlington County (-1.8%) and Alexandria City (-1.0%) are the only jurisdictions to see declines in 2016 prices versus 2015.


  • December’s closed sales of 4,023 were down 4.2% from last year.  Except for December and July of 2016, year-over-year sales have increased every month since December 2014.
  • All property types showed declines in sales this month, with condos down 9.2% to 1,005, townhome sales down 5.5% to 1,073, and single-family detached sales down 0.5% to 1,944.
  • Sales were above the 5-year average of 3,825 and above the 10-year average of 3,516.
  • December’s closed sales were up 44.4% compared to the market low of 2,786 seen in December 2007 and 4.2% less than the previous December 2015 high of 4,198.
  • Across the region, total 2016 sales of 53,504 are up 5.9% compared to 2015, and most jurisdictions showed increases in 2016 sales, with the largest gain in Prince Georges County, which was up 10.8% to 10,384 sales compared to 2015.


  • New pending sales of 3,538 were up 1.7% compared to last year, the highest December level in a decade.  They were down a normal, seasonal 14.9% compared to last month.
  • All property types saw increases in year-over-year pending sales, with condos up 4.2% to 965, single-family detached up 0.8% to 1,659 and townhomes also up 0.8% to 913.
  • Pending contracts were above both the 5-year average of 3,238 and the 10-year average of 2,949.
  • December 2016’s new pending sales were 80.2% above the December 2007 low of 1,963.
  • Pending sales activity across the region is mixed, with all of the higher volume areas showing increases except for Fairfax County, where new contracts were down 4.1% compared to 2015.
  • For the entire region, new pending contracts for 2016 were up 3.1% to 61,877.


  • There were 3,089 new listings in December, a 0.5% decrease over last year.  Compared to last month, new listings saw a normal seasonal decline of 27.6%.
  • Condos saw a 3.8% increase in the number of new listings to 877,  but single-family detached were down 1.3% to 1,441, and townhomes were down 3.6% to 770.
  • New listings are above the 5-year average of 2,824, but are below the 10-year average of 3,164. 
  • December new listings are 25.3% above the 10-year low of 2,465 seen in December 2012, and 24.3% below the December 2008 high of 4,079.
  • Across the DC Metro area, the 73,141 cumulative new listings added in 2016 are down 0.8% from last year.


  • Active inventories in December decreased 13.7% compared to last year to 7,457, which was also down 18.5% from last month.
  • All property types showed decreases in inventory levels over last year, with townhome inventories down 21.9% to 1,300, single-family detached inventories down 12.8% to 4,060 and condos down 9.6% to 2,090.
  • Inventories are below the 5-year average of 7,556, and well below the 10-year average of 11,766.
  • December inventory levels exceed the 2012 low of 6,466 by 15.3%, but are down 65.7% from the peak of 21,712 seen in December 2007.
  • Falls Church City (+25.0%) and Washington D.C (+5.0) saw increases in inventory levels, while all other jurisdictions saw declines, with the largest in Montgomery County (-20.8%).


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for December was 97.0%, up from last year’s 96.4% but down from last month’s 97.2%.
  • Townhomes have the highest December SP to OLP ratio of 97.8%.  Condos and single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.8%.
  • December’s ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 96.6% and the 10-year average of 94.8%
  • Over the last decade, the region’s December average sales price to original listing price ratio ranged from a low of 91.2% in 2008 to a high of 97.1% in 2013.
  • On average, homes in Washington D.C. sold at 98.1% of their original listing price in December, the highest in the region, and down slightly from last year’s 98.3%
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Fairfax City, where the average ratio was 95.6%, down from last year’s 97.5%
  • For 2016, the regional SP to OLP ratio of 97.5% was up slightly from the 2015 ratio of 97.3%.


  • The median days-on-market in December was 29 days, down five days from last year but up six days from last month.
  • Single-family detached homes and condos both had median DOM of 33, while townhomes had a median DOM of 21.
  • December’s median DOM was two days below the 5-year average of 31 days, but was well below the 10-year average of 42 days.
  • The lowest December DOM recorded in the past decade was 25 days in 2013; the highest was 73 days in 2007.
  • Regionally, the highest median DOM in December was recorded in Fairfax City at 56 days, down from 57 last year. 
  • The lowest median DOM is in Washington D.C. at 14 days, down from 17 days last year.
  • For 2016, the regional median DOM of 21 days was down one day compared to 2015.




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 MRIS.

About MRIS

MRIS is a leading provider of real estate information technology and one of the nation’s leading multiple listing services (MLS), facilitating nearly $51 billion in system wide sales in 2015. The company supports over 45,000 real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. MRIS provides its customers with a portfolio of best-in-class desktop, mobile and cloud-based technologies to improve the real estate transaction process for both real estate professionals and homebuyers and sellers. For more information, please visitor MRIShomes.com to search for thousands of available homes in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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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