DC area housing market sees home sales, prices gain again in February

Posted on March 11, 2020 by Corey Hart



Washington D.C. Metro median sales price is at February record of $460,000; closed sales rise for sixth straight month; inventories remain near record lows

Rockville, MD – (March 11, 2020) – 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 February 2020 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • Median sales prices in the Washington D.C. Metro area rose to $460,000, the highest February price of the last decade.  Prices were up 7.7% over last year and were up 3.6% over last month.   
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was over $1.8 billion, up 21.9% over last year.
  • Closed sales of 3,244 were up 13.0% over last year, the sixth month in a row of year-over-year gains.
  • New pending sales were also up, by 10.3% to 4,829.
  • New listings rose 11.0% over last February, to 5,458, the third month of gains in new listings.
  • Still, active listings compared to last year were down 14.3% to 5,392.  With a few small exceptions, year-over-year inventories have declining since May 2016.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 98.5%, up from last February’s 97.7% and at the highest February level of the decade.  Median days-on-market was just 13, down from 23 last February.


  • The area’s median sales price rose to $460,000, up 7.7% or $33,000 compared to last year and up 3.6% or $16,000 compared to last month. 
  • Compared to last year, prices for condos rose 10.5% to $340,000, single-family detached home prices rose by 5.1% to $552,000 and townhome prices rose 4.6% to $455,000.
  • Prices are well above the 5-year average of $415,340 and the 10-year average of $381,460.
  • This month’s median sales price is 53.3% above the $300,000 trough seen in February 2011.
  • Falls Church City regained its status as the most expensive area in the region, with a median sales price of $700,000, although that is down 15.4% from last year.  Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area, with a median sales price of $312,000, up 8.0% from last year.
  • Arlington County (+12.4% to $635,000), Washington D.C. (+0.3% to $590,500), Fairfax County (+13.7% to $560,000) and Montgomery County (+3.8% to $436,000) saw gains (along with Prince George’s County), while Alexandria City (-8.7% to $477,000) and Fairfax City (-4.8% to $471,500) saw declines (in addition to Falls Church City). 
  • For the year-to-date compared to last year, the regional median price is up 7.1% to $450,000.


  • Closed sales of 3,244 were up 13.0% over last year and rose 9.4% over last month.
  • Sales of all property types were up, with townhomes rising 21.0% to 893.  Condo sales were up 16.6% to 961 and single-family detached sales were up 6.4% to 1,389.
  • Sales are well above both the 5-year average of 3,026 and the 10-year average of 2,798.
  • Closed sales are 31.8% above the February 2011 trough of 2,462 and are 4.7% above the prior February 2017 peak of 3,098.
  • Closed sales across the region were mostly up, with gains in Falls Church City (+75.0% to 7), Montgomery County (+24.2% to 755), Washington D.C. (+24.0% to 626), Prince George’s County (+9.5% to 669) and Fairfax County (+9.1% to 852).  Fairfax City (-4.2% to 23), Alexandria City (-4.6% to 165) and Arlington County (-10.4% to 147) saw declines.
  • For the year-to-date, closed sales across the region are up 7.6% to 6,348.


  • There were 4,829 new pending sales at the end of February, up 10.3% over last year and at the highest February level of the past decade.  They were up a seasonal 21.4% over last month.
  • New pending sales of condos compared to last year were up 14.3% to 1,372 while single-family homes were up 9.5% to 2,261 and new pending sales of townhomes were up 8.2% to 1,196.  
  • Pending sales are above the 5-year average of 4,569 and the 10-year average of 4,355.
  • New pending sales this month were 27.3% above the February 2014 low of 3,792.
  • Pending sales were up everywhere except in Prince George’s County, where they were down a slight 0.6% to 1,064.  The largest percentage gain in pending sales compared to last year was in Fairfax City, where they were up 40.7% to 38 and the smallest was in Arlington County, where they were up 5.8% to 219.


  • There were 5,458 new listings in February, up 11% over last year and up 14.1% over last month.
  • Condos again saw the largest gain in new listings compared to last year, rising 20.6% to 1,582.  New townhome listings rose 10.7% to 1,307 while new single-family homes rose 6.6% to 2,569.
  • New listings remain above the 5-year average of 5,283 and the 10-year average of 4,979. 
  • February new listings were 24.2% above the 10-year low of 4,393 seen in February 2014 but they remain 1.8% below the peak level of 5,560 seen in February 2017.
  • New listing activity was mostly up across the region, with the largest unit gains in new listings in Montgomery County (up 189 units to 1,208) and in Fairfax County (up 182 units to 1,644).  Arlington County (down 4 units to 249) and Falls Church City (down 10 units to 13) saw declines in new listings.
  • For the year-to-date across the region, new listings are up 9.3% to 10,238.


  • Active inventories of 5,392 are just seven units above last month’s decade-low level.  This was a 14.3% decline in inventory levels over last February. 
  • Condo inventories rose by 13.3% to 1,613, but townhome inventories declined by 16.1% to 1,025.  Single-family detached active listings declined by 24.0% to just 2,754.
  • Inventories are well below both the 5-year average of 6,795 and the 10-year average of 7,861.
  • Inventory levels are 60.2% below the peak level of 13,538 seen in February 2011.
  • Inventory levels across the region were mostly down, with only Fairfax City (+16.2% to 43) and Alexandria City (+7.6% to 155) seeing gains in active inventories.  The smallest percentage loss was in Washington D.C. (-0.4% to 1,210), followed by Fairfax County (-10.5% to 1,315), Montgomery County (-14.8% to 1,318), Arlington County (-21.6% to 174), Prince George’s County (-28.5% to 1,169) and Falls Church City (-66.7% to 8). 


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for February was 98.5%, up from the 97.7% seen both last month and last February.
  • Townhomes have the highest February SP to OLP ratio of 99.2%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 98.7% and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 98.0%.
  • This month’s SP to OLP exceeds the 5-year average of 97.6% and the 10-year average of 96.6%.
  • Over the last decade, the highest February average sales price to original listing price ratio was this month’s 98.5%.  The lowest was in 2011, when it was just 93.1%.
  • Alexandria City saw a premium in SP to OLP ratio at 100.8% this month, up from 99.1% last year.  Arlington County saw homes go for, on average, 100% of their original listing price.
  • Montgomery County had the lowest SP to OLP ratio of 97.7%, up from last year’s 97.0%.
  • Across the region, SP to OLP ratios were generally up, although they declined in Falls Church City (down from 103.6% to 99.9%).  Fairfax City saw the largest increase in SP to OLP ratio (from 97.1% to 99.5%) and Washington D.C. saw the smallest (from 97.9% to 98.2.%)
  • For the year-to-date across the metro, SP to OLP ratio is at 98.1%, up from 97.5% last year.


  • The median days-on-market (DOM) was at the lowest, by far, February level of the decade at just 13 days, down from 23 days last year and down from 26 days last month.
  • Condos have a median DOM of 9, while townhomes have a median DOM of 10, and single-family detached homes have a median DOM of 21.
  • February’s median DOM was 13 days below the 5-year average of 26 days and 20 days below the 10-year average of 33 days.
  • The highest February median DOM of the last 10 years was 57 days in 2011, and last year’s 23 days had been the lowest until this month.
  • Prince George’s County had the highest median days-on-market in the region at 28, down from 37 days in February of 2019. 
  • Falls Church City had the lowest median DOM of just 5 days, down significantly from 43 days last year (although the limited number of sales makes the data highly variable).
  • Median days-on-market declined everywhere across the region.
  • For the year-to-date, median days on market across the region are down from 28 days to 19 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 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 95,000 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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