DC area home sales dip from 2016 levels, prices continue to climb in April

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Corey Hart



In the Washington D.C. Metro housing market, inventories continue to shrink.  Sales and new pending sales both decline, while median sales price and days-on-market set new April records.

Rockville, MD – (May 10, 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 April 2017 MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • April 2017’s median sales price of $436,500 was up 4.1% or $17,250 compared to last year.  This is the highest April median sales price of the last decade, easily exceeding last year’s record of $419,250.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was over $2.4 billion, up 1.7% from last April.
  • Closed sales of 4,598 were down 1.7% compared to last year but were up 3.3% from last month.
  • New contract activity of 6,097 declined 8.3% compared to last year. 
  • New listings of 7,664 were down 13.0% compared to last year and down 6.7% compared to last month.
  • Active listings of 9,552 are down 14.0% compared to last year, but are up 10.5% compared to last month. This is the twelfth consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels, and inventories are at the lowest April level since 2014.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in April was 98.7%, up from last year’s 98.0%, and also up from last month’s 97.9%.
  • The median days-on-market for April 2017 was 10 days, 4 days lower than last year.


  • April’s regional median sales price rose to $436,500, the highest April level on record with data going back to 1997, with a 4.1% or $17,250 increase over last year and a 3.9% or $16,500 increase over last month.
  • Single-family detached homes increased 5.0% to $550,000, townhomes rose 2.4% to $419,900, and condos rose 0.8% to $305,000.    
  • April prices are well above the 5-year average of $417,050, and the 10-year average of $385,075.
  • The overall regional price of $436,500 is 31.5% above the April 2009 low of $332,000, and 4.1% above the previous April high of $419,250 seen last year.
  • Falls Church City is still the most expensive location in the region, with a median sales price of $807,500, up 14.1% from last year, which was the largest increase in the region.  Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area in the region, with an April median sales price of $275,000, up 13.4% from last year, the second-largest price increase in the region.
  • Only Washington D.C. (-1.0%) and Fairfax City (-2.2%) saw decreases in median sales price compared to last year; all other jurisdictions saw increases.


  • This month, closed sales of 4,598 were down a slight 1.7% from last year, but were up 3.3% from last month.  This is only the third time since December 2014 that year-over-year sales levels declined. 
  • All property types saw decreases in sales this month, with single-family detached and townhome sales both down 0.4% to 2,198 and 1,150, respectively, and condos down 5.1% to 1,248.
  • Sales remain above both the 5-year average of 4,332 and the 10-year average of 4,006.
  • April’s closed sales were up 46.5% above the market low of 3,138 seen in April 2008.
  • Sales activity across the region was mixed, with the largest percentage increase in Falls Church City (+23.1% or 3 sales) and the largest percentage decrease in Washington D.C. ( -10.5% or 81 sales).  For the year-to-date though, all jurisdictions show gains in sales, with the largest in Falls Church City (+51.3 or +20 sales) and the smallest in Fairfax County (+5.7% or +237 sales).


  • New pending sales of 6,097 were down 8.3% compared to last year and are also down 2.5% from last month.  This is only the fourth time that Y-o-Y sales have declined in the last 30 months.
  • Townhome new pending sales were down the largest percentage, -11.1% to 1,488.  Single-family detached and condo new pending sales were both down 7.4% to 3,082 and 1,525, respectively.
  • Pending sales were below the 5-year average of 6,152 but above the 10-year average of 5,628.
  • April 2017’s new pending sales were 56.5% more than the April 2008 low of 3,896.
  • Pending sales activity across the region was mixed, with the largest percentage increase in Fairfax City, which was up from 38 pending sales to 46 (+21.1%).  The largest decrease in new pending sales was in Prince George’s County, where they were down 13.1% to 1,163.


  • There were 7,664 new listings in April, down a significant 13.0% from last year and down 6.7% compared to last month. 
  • New townhome listings were down 15.3% to 1,755, single-family detached new listings were down 12.6% to 4,005, and condos were down 11.6% to 1,900.
  • New listings are below both the 5-year average of 7,954 and the 10-year average of 7,752. 
  • April new listings are 22.0% above the 10-year low of 6,280 seen in April 2012, and are 13.5% below the peak level of 8,860 seen in 2010.
  • Across the D.C. Metro, only Fairfax City (+12.1 or 7 listings) saw an increase in new listings.  All other jurisdictions saw lower new listings compared to last year, with the largest percentage decline of 17.7% in Falls Church City, where they fell from 34 to 28.  The smallest percentage decline was in Washington D.C., where new listings dropped 6.0% to 1,139.


  • April active inventories of 9,552 decreased 14.0% compared to last year, but were up 10.5% compared to last month. 
  • All property types showed double-digit decreases in inventory levels over last year, with condo inventories down 17.3% to 2,419, townhome inventories down 14.9% to 1,684, and single-family detached inventories down 12.2% to 5,441.
  • Inventories are above the 5-year average of 9,505, but well below the 10-year average of 13,439.
  • April inventory levels exceed the 2013 low of 7,123 by 34.1%, but are down 63.0% from the peak of 25,847 seen in April 2008.
  • Across the region, inventory levels dropped everywhere except Fairfax City (+24.6% or 15 listings) and Washington, D.C. (+1.5% or 20 listings).  The largest decline was in Fairfax County, where they dropped 22.6% or 875 listings.


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for April was 98.7%, up from last year’s 98.0%, and also up from last month’s 97.9%. 
  • Townhomes have the highest April SP to OLP ratio of 99.5%.  Single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 98.5% and condos have a ratio of 98.3%.
  • April’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 98.3% and the 10-year average of 96.0%.
  • Over the last decade, the region’s April average sales price to original listing price ratio ranged from a low of 91.3% in 2009 to this April’s high of 98.7%.  The prior highest April level in the last ten years was the 98.3% seen in 2014.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Fairfax City, where the average ratio was 97.8%, down from last year’s 98.6%.
  • Falls Church City had the highest regional SP to OLP ratio, at 100.7% of original listing price, up significantly from last year’s 98.8%.


  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in April was 10 days, down from 14 days last year and 15 days last month.
  • Condos have a median DOM of 13, single-family detached homes have a median DOM of 11, and townhomes have a median DOM of 8.
  • April’s median DOM was two days below the 5-year average of 12 days, and was 16 days below the 10-year average of 26 days.
  • This month’s median DOM of 10 is the lowest level in a decade and is one day less than the 11 days seen in 2013.  The highest DOM of the last 10 years was 60 days in 2008.
  • The highest median DOM in the region in April was in Prince George’s County where it was 20 days, down from 25 days last year. 
  • The lowest median DOM is in Falls Church City, where it is 4 days, down from 14 days last year.


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, a division of Bright MLS.

About MRIS

MRIS, a division of Bright MLS, 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 visit MRIS.com or MRIShomes.com to search for thousands of available homes in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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 atwww.econ70.com.

dc metro, market analysis, press release
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