DC area home sales down 10 percent versus September 2017

Posted on October 10, 2018 by Corey Hart



Pending sales also dip sharply; prices hit record September median level of $420,000; inventories down slightly

Rockville, MD – (October 10, 2018) – 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 September 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Washington D.C. Metro median sales price rose 3.7% or $15,000 to $420,000 compared to last year.  Prices are, by far, at the highest September level on record.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was more than $1.8 billion, down 7.0% from last year.
  • The 3,636 closed sales in September were down a significant 10.0% compared to last year and were at the lowest September level since 2014.
  • New pending sales were also down notably, with 4,444 new pending sales at the end of September, down 7.6% compared to last year and also at the lowest September level since 2014.
  • New listings of 6,742 were down 3.3% compared to last year.
  • Active listings of 10,539 were also down 3.3% compared to last year.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in September was 97.7%, up just slightly from last year’s 97.6%.
  • The median days-on-market this month was 17 days, down three days from last year.


  • September’s median sales price of $420,000 increased by 3.7% or $15,000 compared to last year but was down a seasonal 5.0% or $22,250 compared to last month.  This marks the second full year of year-over-year price increases in the D.C. Metro area.
  • Compared to last year, prices for townhomes rose by 6.2 % to $424,900, condo prices rose by 5.5% to $299,450, and single-family detached homes rose by 2.4% to $511,012.
  • September prices are above the 5-year average of $402,980 and the 10-year average of $375,990.
  • This month’s median sales price of $420,000 is 27.3% higher than the $330,000 seen in both September of 2010 and September of 2009.
  • Falls Church City continues to have the highest home prices in the region, with a median sales price of $607,500.  Prices were down 3.6% from last year.
  • Prince George’s County has a median sales price of $295,000, the lowest median sales price in the region.  This is, however, a 5.4% increase over last year, among the largest percentage increases in the area.
  • For the year-to-date, prices are up 3.0% across the DC metro area to $442,000.


  • Closed sales in September of 3,636 were down a significant 10.0% from last year and were down 28.2% from last month. This was the largest single-month drop in Y-o-Y sales since May 2014.
  • Sales of all property types were down, with single-family detached home sales down 12.6% to 1,622, condo sales down 8.4% to 1,028 and townhome sales down by 7.3% to 985.
  • Sales fell below the 5-year average of 3,909 and the 10-year average of 3,694.
  • September closed sales were 13.1% below the September 2016 market peak of 4,183 and were just 16.9% above the September 2011 market low of 3,110.
  • Local sales activity was mostly down, with only Alexandria City seeing an increase (+11.8% to 190).  Washington D.C.  had the smallest percentage decline in closed sales (-3.8% to 588) while both Falls Church City and Fairfax City saw 47.4% declines, to 10 and 20 sales, respectively.
  • For the DC metro area for the year-to-date, closed sales are down 1.8% to 41,927. 


  • September’s new pending sales of 4,444 were down 7.6% from last year and down 6.4% from last month.  This is the second month in a row that pending sales were down Y-o-Y.
  • New pending sales of townhomes were down 8.6% to 1,183, single-family detached homes were down 8.5% to 2,003, and new condo pending sales were down 5.1% to 1,257.  
  • Pending sales dipped below the 5-year average of 4,595 but remained above the 10-year average of 4,291.
  • New pending sales this month were 30.4% more than the September 2010 low of 3,408.
  • Pending sales activity across the region was mostly down.  Falls Church City (+60.0% to 16) and Fairfax City (+19.4% to 37) saw increases.  Prince George’s County had the smallest percentage decline (-3.1% to 1,058) and Arlington County (-16.5% to 223) saw the largest.    


  • New listings in September of 6,742 were down 3.3% from last year but were up 11.1% from last month. 
  • Compared to last year, new single-family homes and condo listings were down 3.9%, to 3,107 and 1,930, respectively, while townhome listings were down 1.7% to 1,699.
  • New listings are below the 5-year average of 6,808 but are above the 10-year average of 6,321. 
  • September new listings are 31.6% above the 10-year low of 5,124 seen in September 2012.
  • Falls Church City (+53.3% to 23), Prince George’s County (+2.5% to 1,290), and Washington D.C. (+1.4% to 1,441) all saw increases in new listings.  Arlington County (-1.5% to 387), Alexandria City (-2.6% to 340), Fairfax County (-5.6% to 1,769), Montgomery County (-9.6% to 1,449), and Fairfax City (-27.1% to 43), all saw declines.
  • For the year to date, new listings of 60,827 are down 1.1% compared to last year.


  • Active inventories of 10,539 were down 3.3% compared to September 2017 but were up 8.9% from last month.  
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached inventories were down 5.1% to 5,646 and condo inventories were down 4.0% to 2,720.  Townhome inventories were up 2.3% to 2,161.
  • Inventories remain below both the 5-year average of 11,533 and the 10-year average of 12,361.
  • September inventory levels are 12.8% above the 2013 low of 9,340 and are down 38.6% from the peak of 17,173 seen in September 2010.
  • Inventory levels increased in Falls Church City (+10.7% to 31), in Prince George’s County (+9.2% to 2,205) and in Washington D.C. (+5.8% to 1,643).  Active inventories fell in Montgomery County (-7.8% to 2,555), Fairfax County (-8.3% to 3,038), Alexandria City (-8.9% to 450), Fairfax City (-10.2% to 79) and in Arlington County (-15.7% to 538).


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for September was 97.7%, up from last year’s 97.6% but slightly below last month’s 98.0%. 
  • Townhomes have the highest September SP to OLP ratio of 98.6%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 97.5% and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 97.4%.
  • September’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 97.4% and the 10-year average of 96.2%.
  • Over the last decade, the highest September average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2013 when it was 98.0%.  The lowest was in 2011, when it was just 93.3%.
  • Falls Church City had the highest SP to OLP ratio of 99.4%, up from 96.0% last year.
  • Montgomery County had the lowest SP to OLP ratio of 97.4%, up from last year’s 96.9%.
  • Across the D.C. Metro area for the year to date, the SP to OLP ratio is 98.4%, up from last year’s 98.2%.


  • September’s median days-on-market (DOM) was 17 days, down three days from last year but up two days from last month.
  • Townhomes have a median DOM of 12, while condos have a median DOM of 20 and single-family detached homes have a median DOM of 22.
  • September’s median DOM remains well below the 5-year average of 23 days and the 10-year average of 27 days.
  • This month’s median DOM of 17 matches the 17 days seen in 2013, the lowest level of the decade.  The highest September median DOM of the last 10 years was 44 days in 2011.
  • Alexandria City, Montgomery County and Fairfax City all had median DOMs of 20 days, the highest in the region.    
  • Falls Church City had the lowest median DOM in the region of 14 days, down from 18 days last year.
  • For the year-to-date across the entire D.C. metro, median DOM is 13 days, down from 15 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 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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