DC area home sales increase in May after eight months of declines

Posted on May 13, 2019 by Corey Hart



Washington D.C. Metro sets all-time price record at $475,000; inventory levels down by double-digits

Rockville, MD – (May 13, 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 April 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The April 2019 Washington D.C. Metro area median home price of $475,000 was up 5.6% or $25,000 and at the highest overall monthly median sales price of the decade.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $2.8 billion, up 5.9% from last year.
  • The 4,997 closed sales in April were up 3.3% from last year, the first time since last July that year-over-year sales increased and were at the highest April level of the past decade.
  • New pending sales were up 1.1% to 6,513.
  • New listings compared to last year were down 4.1% to 7,976.
  • Driven by increasing sales and fewer new listings, active listings of 7,535 were down 12.9% from last year. 
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 99.3%, easily the highest April level of the last decade.  Additionally, homes in many areas sold for more than their original listing price.


  • April’s median sales price of $475,000 was up 5.6% or $25,000 compared to both last year and to last month’s $450,000.  This marks the 31st consecutive month of Y-o-Y price appreciation.
  • Compared to last year, prices for condos rose 7.9% to $340,000, townhomes rose by 4.2% to $454,508 and single-family detached prices rose 2.3% to $585,000.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $439,550 and the 10-year average of $405,075.
  • This month’s median sales price is 42.2% higher than the trough seen in April 2011.
  • Falls Church City continues to have the most expensive homes in the region, with a median sales price of $970,000, a 30.2% increase from last April.  Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area, with a median sales price of just $297,000, a 4.2% increase over last year.
  • Across the region, prices were up everywhere except for in Washington D.C., where they declined by a slight 0.5% to $586,900.  Prices rose in Arlington County (+18.9% to $661,500), in Fairfax County (+5.0% to $546,000), in Fairfax City (+4.3% to $515,000), in Montgomery County (+4.3% to $464,000) and in Alexandria City (+3.1% to $560,000).
  • For the year-to-date, prices across the region are up 3.5% to $440,000.


  • Closed sales of 4,997 were up 3.3% from last year and were up a seasonal 30.8% from last month.  Sales were at the highest April level of the past decade.
  • Sales of single-family detached homes were up 5.2% to 2,355 while sales of condos were up 2.8% to 1,360.  However, sales of townhomes were down a slight 0.2% to 1,274.
  • Sales are above both the 5-year average of 4,676 and the 10-year average of 4,335.
  • April closed sales are 41.8% above the April 2011 trough of 3,525.
  • The largest percentage gain in closed sales was in Falls Church City (+20.0% to 24). Washington D.C. (+15.5% to 872), Alexandria City (+6.5% to 247), Fairfax County (+4.3% to 1,596), Arlington County (+1.2% to 264), and Prince George’s County (+0.2% to 868) also saw gains, while Montgomery County (-3.5% to 1,097) and Fairfax City (-17.1% to 29) declined.
  • For the year-to-date, regional closed sales are down 0.6% to 15,418.


  • New pending sales of 6,513 rose by 1.1% compared to last year and were up 8.6% from last month.  
  • New pending sales of single-family detached homes were up 4.3% to 3,213.  New pending sales of townhomes were down 0.6% to 1,711 and condos were down 3.3% to 1,582.  
  • New pending sales are just above the 5-year average of 6,381 and the 10-year average of 6,070.
  • New pending sales this month were 26.0% more than the April 2011 low of 5,170 and are 2.0% below the peak April 2016 level of 6,647.
  • New pending sales activity was mixed, with Falls Church City showing the largest percentage increase in new pending sales (+20.0% to 24) and Fairfax City showing the biggest percentage decline (-28.3% to 38).


  • April’s new listings of 7,976 were down 4.1% compared to last year and were up 9.2% compared to last month.  This is the third month in a row of declining year-over-year new listings. 
  • New listings of condos compared to last year were down 11.1% to 1,892 and townhomes were down 7.6% to 1,883.  However, new listings of single-family homes were up 0.8% to 4,186.
  • New listings are below the 5-year average of 8,296 but are above the 10-year average of 7,851. 
  • April new listings were 10.0% below the April 2010 high of 8,860 but are 27.0% above the April 2012 low of 6,280.
  • New listing activity across the region was mixed.  In the higher volume areas, Washington D.C. (+4.6% to 1,398) and Montgomery County (+2.5% to 2,025) saw gains, while Fairfax County    (-3.9% to 2,468) and Prince George’s County (-5.8% to 1,348) saw declines.
  • For the year-to-date, regional new listings are down 3.7% to 24,626.


  • Active inventories of 7,535 were down 12.9% compared to last year but were up 10.8% compared to last month.
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached inventories were down 4.9% to 4,560, townhome inventories were down 19.0% to 1,297 and condo inventories were down 26.3% to 1,653. 
  • Inventories remain below both the 5-year average of 9,544 and the 10-year average of 10,553.
  • April inventory levels are just 5.8% above the 2013 low of 7,123 and are down 51.8% from the peak of 15,618 seen in April 2010.
  • April inventory levels increased in Washington D.C. (+6.2% to 1,365), but they declined everywhere else, with the smallest percentage decline in Montgomery County (-5.1% to 2,160) and the largest percentage decline in Alexandria City (-60.3% to 165). 


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for April was 99.3%, up from last year’s 99.0% and also up from last month’s 98.5%.
  • Townhomes have the highest April SP to OLP ratio of 100.1%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 99.3%, and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 98.8%.
  • April’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 98.6% and the 10-year average of 97.5%.
  • Over the last decade, the highest April average sales price to original listing price ratio was this month’s 99.3%.  The lowest was in April 2011, when it was just 93.7%.
  • This month, multiple jurisdictions saw SP to OLP ratios at or above 100%, including Fairfax City (100.6%), Alexandria City (100.6%), Arlington County (100.3%) and Falls Church City (100.0%). 
  • Prince George’s County had the lowest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 98.0%, which was down from 98.5% last year.
  • For the year to date, regional SP to OLP ratio is 98.3%, up from last year’s 98.1%. 


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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