DC area home sales and contracts reach highest August levels in a decade

Posted on September 13, 2016 by Corey Hart



Median sales prices of $420,750 at highest August level since 2007; Inventory levels decline by double-digits

Rockville, MD – (September 13, 2016) – 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 2016 MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • August 2016’s median sales price of $420,750 was up 2.4% or $9,750 compared to last year, the highest August price since 2007.   
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was more than $2.6 billion, up 16.1% from last August.
  • Closed sales of 5,089 were up 12.7% compared to last year, the highest August level since 2006.
  • New contracts increased by 4.1% to 4,907, the highest level of pending sales in August since 2005.
  • New listings of 5,500 were down 5.1% year-over-year and down 11.6% compared to last month.
  • Active listings of 10,305 are down 16.4% compared to last year. This is the fourth consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in August was 97.5%, up from last year’s 97.2% but down from last month’s 97.9%.
  • The median days-on-market for August 2016 was 22 days, three days lower than last year.


  • August’s regional overall median sales price was $420,750, a 2.4% or $9,750 increase over last year, but was down 3.3% or $14,250 compared to last month. 
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached homes increased 5.8% to $529,000, townhomes increased 0.9% to $403,750 and condos decreased 3.4% to $292,000. 
  • The August overall regional price is 23% above the August 2009 low of $342,000 and only 1% or $4,250 off the all-time August high of $425,000, which was set in 2007.
  • Prices are 2.8% and 8.0% above, respectively, the 5 and 10-year averages.
  • Falls Church City remains the most expensive location in the region, with a median sales price of $799,000, which is 40.2% more than last year, but the small number of sales (21) makes the data overly sensitive to changes.  Prince George’s County continues to be the most affordable area in the region, with an August median sales price of $257,250, up 5% from last August. 
  • The year-to-date median sales price is relatively unchanged at $417,000.  Falls Church City (+14.7%) and Prince George’s County (+8.7%) continue to lead the region in price growth. Fairfax County (-0.8%) is the only jurisdiction to see declines in year-to-date prices versus 2015.


  • August’s closed sales of 5,089 were up 12.7% from last year, recovering from last month’s decline and otherwise continuing the positive growth in YoY sales seen since December 2014.
  • All types of properties saw increases in sales, with townhomes up 17.8% to 1,350, condo sales up 11.2% to 1,321 and single-family detached sales up 10.8% to 2,415.
  • Sales were 13.2% above the 5-year August average of 4,495 and 20% above the 10-year August average of 4,242.
  • August’s closed sales were up 34.8% compared to the market low of 3,776 seen in August 2008 and 10.1% more than the previous August 2013 high of 4,621.
  • Across the region, only Alexandria City (-8.1%) saw a decrease in sales, while all other jurisdictions saw increases, with the largest in Falls Church City (+40%).


  • There were 4,907 new pending sales at the end of August 2016, up 4.1% or 194 compared to last year and down 6.8% or 360 from last month. 
  • Townhomes saw the largest gains in pending sales, increasing by 8.4% to 1,293.  Condo pending sales were up 2.9% to 1,288 and single-family detached homes saw a 2.4% increase in the number of new pending sales to 2,323.
  • Pending contracts were above both the 5-year average of 4,580 and the 10-year average of 4,090.
  • August 2016’s new pending sales number was the highest August level of the decade and was 68% above the August 2007 low of 2,921.
  • For the entire region, new pending contracts for January-August are up 4.6% to 44,087.


  • There were 5,500 new listings in August, a 5.1% decline compared to last year and an 11.6% decrease compared to last month. 
  • All property types saw declines in the number of new listings, with townhomes down 8.9% to 1,355, single-family detached down 5.1% to 2,699, and condos down 1.5% to 1,443.
  • New listings are above the 5-year average of 5,364, but below the 10-year average of 5,631. 
  • August new listings are 15.3% above the 10-year low of 4,769 seen in August 2012 and 28.8% below the August 2007 high of 7,721.
  • Only Fairfax City (+16.2%) and Prince George’s County (+2.9%) saw increases in new listings.  All other areas were down, with the largest decline at 17.5% in Alexandria City.
  • Across the DC Metro area, the 53,312 cumulative new listings added through August are virtually unchanged compared to 2015.


  • Active inventories decreased to 10,305 at the end of August, down 16.4% from last year and down 5.8% from last month.
  • All property types show a decrease in inventory levels over last year, with townhome inventories down 21.7% to 1,906, single-family detached inventories down 15.6% to 5,739 and condos down 14% to 2,650.
  • Inventories are slightly above the 5-year average of 10,261, but well below the 10-year average of 14,576.
  • August inventories exceed the 2013 low of 8,301 by 24.1%, but are down 58.4% from the peak of 24,766 seen in August 2007.
  • All jurisdictions in the D.C. Metro area saw declines in inventory levels, with the largest in Fairfax City (-25.3%) and the smallest in Washington, D.C. (-5.8%).



  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for August was 97.5%, up just slightly from last year’s 97.2% but down from last month’s 97.9%.
  • Over the last decade, the region’s August average sales price to original listing price ratio ranged from a low of 93% in 2008 to a high of 98.2% in 2013.
  • On average, homes in Washington D.C. sold at 98.3% of their original listing price in August, the highest in the region, down slightly from the 99.1% seen last year.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Montgomery County, where the average ratio was 97.0%, up slightly from the 96.4% seen last year.
  • For the January-August year-to-date, the SP to OLP ratio for the entire metro region is 97.6%, up slightly from last year’s YTD SP to OLP of 97.5%.


  • The median days-on-market in August was 22 days, down three days from last year, but up five days from last month.
  • Condos had the highest median DOM of 25, while single-family detached had a median DOM of 23 and townhomes had a median DOM of 17.
  • DOM match the 5-year average of 22 days but are well below the 10-year average of 32 days.
  • The lowest August DOM recorded in the past decade was 14 days in 2013; the highest was 59 days in 2008.
  • The highest median DOM is in Alexandria City, where it is 27 days (down from 28 last year).  The lowest median DOM is in Falls Church City, where it is 6 days (down from 16 days last year).
  • The only jurisdiction where DOM increased was in Washington D.C., where they increased from 13 days to 15 days.

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 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.  Data provided by ShowingTime RBI, 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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