DC area inventories climb for first time since mid-2016 as sales dip again in October

Posted on November 13, 2018 by Corey Hart



Washington D.C. Metro prices at record October level of $426,475; sales activity noticeably declines; inventories increase for first time since mid-2016

Rockville, MD – (November 13, 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 October 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Washington D.C. Metro median sales price rose 3.2% or $13,350 to $426,475 compared to last year.  Prices are easily at the highest October level of the decade. 
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was more than $2.1 billion, down 3.9% from last year.
  • There were 4,056 closed sales in October, down a significant 6.1% compared to last year, but slightly better than the 10% year-over-year decline seen last month. 
  • New pending sales were down by 4.7% to 4,734, which is the lowest October level since 2014.
  • New listings of 6,211 rose 7.6% compared to last year, the highest October level of the decade.
  • Slowing sales combined with more listings meant that year-over-year inventory levels rose for the first time since May of 2016.  The 10,380 active listings at the end of October were 2.7% more than October of 2017.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in October was 97.8%, down just slightly from last year’s 98.0%.


  • In October, median sales price rose to $426,475, a 3.2% increase over last year and a 1.5% increase over last month.  This marks the 25th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases in the D.C. Metro area.
  • Compared to last year, prices for single-family detached homes rose by 3.9% to $528,000, townhomes rose by 3.7% to $425,000, and condo prices rose a scant 0.3% to $308,000.
  • Prices are well above the 5-year average of $407,720 and the 10-year average of $375,763.
  • This month’s median sales price of $426,475 is 34.7% higher than the $316,500 seen in 10/2009.
  • Falls Church City still has the highest home prices in the region, with a median sales price of $805,500, up 32.7% compared to last year.
  • Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area in the region, with a median sales price of $280,000, a 1.8% decline over last year.
  • For the year-to-date, prices are up 3.3% across the DC metro area to $440,000.


  • October’s closed sales of 4,056 were down 6.1% from last year, but up 11.6% from last month. 
  • Sales of all property types were down, with townhome sales down by 12.0% to 1,063, single-family detached home sales down 4.8% to 1,772, and condo sales down 4.4% to 1,195.
  • Sales bumped back above the 5-year average of 4,000 and the 10-year average of 3,722.
  • October closed sales were 6.1% below last October’s peak of 4,320 and were 44.1% above the October 2011 market low of 2,815.
  • In Falls Church City there were 14 sales, an increase of 16.7% compared to last year.  Alexandria City (+1.0% to 212) and Prince George’s County (+0.5% to 856) were nearly flat.  All other areas in the region were down, with the smallest percentage decrease in Fairfax County (-1.8% to 1,109) and the largest in Fairfax City (-36.2% to 30).
  • For the DC metro area for the year-to-date, closed sales are down 2.0% to 46,273.  


  • Year-over-year new pending sales declined for the third month in a row, and at 4,734, were down 4.7% from last year.  They were up 6.5% from last month. 
  • New pending sales of single-family detached homes were down 7.2% to 2,141, townhomes were down 6.0% to 1,257, and new condo pending sales were down 1.5% to 1,305.  
  • Pending sales are still just slightly below the 5-year average of 4,761 but are above the 10-year average of 4,495.
  • New pending sales this month were 29.0% more than the October 2010 low of 3,669.
  • Pending sales activity across the region was mixed.   The largest percentage increase was in Fairfax City (+16.1 to 36) and the largest decline was in Arlington County (-16.8% to 228).  


  • New listings in October rose by 7.6% to 6,211.  Listings were down 7.9% from last month. 
  • Compared to last year, listings of new single-family homes rose 10.6%, to 2,939, townhome listings were up 6.1% to 1,557, and condo listings were up 1.5% to 1,668.
  • New listings are above both the 5-year average of 5,872 and the 10-year average of 5,576. 
  • October new listings are 35.4% above the 10-year low of 4,588 seen in October 2012.
  • New listings were up across the region except in Alexandria City (-3.5% to 276) and in Fairfax City (-15.0% to 34).  Elsewhere, the largest percentage increase was in Falls Church City (+233.3% to 30), and the smallest increase was in Arlington County (+2.4% to 305).
  • For the year to date, new listings of 67,088 are down 0.4% compared to last year.


  • Active inventories of 10,380 were up 2.7% compared to October 2017 but were down 1.5% from last month.  
  • Compared to last year, townhome inventories were up 6.5% to 2,085 and single-family detached inventories were up 3.0% to 5,583.  Condo inventories were down 2.4% to 2,656. 
  • Inventories remain below both the 5-year average of 11,095 and the 10-year average of 11,857.
  • October inventory levels are 18.4% above the 2012 low of 8,766 and are down 37.6% from the peak of 16,629 seen in October 2010.
  • Inventory levels increased in three jurisdictions: Falls Church City (+89.5% to 36), Prince George’s County (+16.6% to 2,268) and Washington D.C. (+13.9% to 1,816).  They declined in Montgomery County (-0.8% to 2,507), Fairfax County (-5.0% to 2,758), Arlington County (-8.8% to 505), Alexandria City (-12.4% to 423) and Fairfax City (-17.3% to 67). 


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for October was 97.8%, down just slightly from last year’s 98.0% but up from last month’s 97.7%. 
  • Townhomes have the highest October SP to OLP ratio of 98.6%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 97.8% and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 97.3%.
  • October’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 97.4% and the 10-year average of 96.3%.
  • Over the last decade, the highest October average sales price to original listing price ratio was last October’s 98.0%.  The lowest was in 2011, when it was just 93.4%.
  • Falls Church City had the highest SP to OLP ratio of 98.7%, up from 96.3% last year.
  • Prince George’s County had the lowest SP to OLP ratio of 97.3%, down from last year’s 98.8%.
  • 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%.


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 atwww.econ70.com.



dc metro, market analysis, press release
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