DC area market kicks off 2018 with high prices, low supply

Posted on February 12, 2018 by Corey Hart
12

Feb

2018

Washington D.C. Metro median price of $399,900 at highest January level in decade; closed sales and pending contracts flat; inventory levels near all-time low.

Rockville, MD – (February 12, 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 January 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report

OVERVIEW

  • Washington D.C. Metro’s January median sales price of $399,900 was up 2.5% or $9,900 compared to last year, the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.  Prices were down 4.8% compared to last month.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $1.5 billion, down 0.7% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 2,974 were down 1.3% compared to last year and were 23.5% below last month.  
  • New contracts of 3,956 were down 0.1% compared to last year but were up 19.4% compared to last month.
  • New listings of 4,232 were down 6.8% compared to last year but were up a seasonal 51.2% from last month.
  • Active listings of 6,155 are down 14.8% compared to last year and down 8.6% compared to last month. This is the 21st consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in January was 96.9%, down from last year’s 97.0%
  • The median days-on-market for January 2017 was 30 days, four days lower than last year.


 

  • January’s regional median sales price of $399,900 was an increase of 2.5% or $9,900 compared to last year, but prices were down a seasonal 4.8% or $20,150 compared to last month.  This is the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and was the highest January level of the last 10 years.
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached home prices increased 5.7% to $491,500, townhome prices rose 4.1% to $405,000 and condo prices declined 5.0% to $285,000. 
  • January prices are above the 5-year average of $384,080 and the 10-year average of $348,440.
  • The regional price of $399,900 is 37.9% higher than the market low of $290,000 seen in 2010.
  • Falls Church City remains the most expensive location in the region, with a median sales price of $639,000, up 4.8% from last year.
  • Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area in the region, with a median sales price of $270,000, a 3.9% increase over last January.


 

  • Closed sales of 2,974 were down 1.3% from last year and down 23.5% from last month. 
  • Both condo and townhome sales rose compared to last year.  Condo sales increased 6.2% to 896 and townhome sales rose 1.0% to 771.  Single-family detached sales were down 7.2% to 1,306.
  • Sales were well above both the 10-year average of 2,738 and the 5-year average of 2,570.
  • January’s closed sales were 43.0% above the January 2009 market low of 2,079 but were 1.3% below last year’s 3,014.
  • Sales activity across the region was mostly down, with only Alexandria City (+10.4% or 13 sales), Prince George’s County (+1.5% or 10 sales) and Washington D.C. (+0.4% or 2 sales) seeing increases.  All other areas saw declines, with the largest percentage in Falls Church City (-80.0% or 12 sales) and the smallest decline in Fairfax County (-1.0% or 8 sales).


 

  • New pending sales of 3,956 were just two sales or 0.1% above last year but were up 19.4% compared to last month. 
  • Pending sales of townhomes were up 4.4% to 1,030, while condo pending sales were up a slight 0.6% to 1,143.  Pending sales of single-family detached homes were down 2.7% to 1,781.
  • Pending sales are above the 5-year average of 3,711 and the 10-year average of 3,565.
  • January’s new pending sales were 57.4% more than the January 2009 low of 2,514.
  • Pending sales activity across the region was mixed.  Declines were posted in Fairfax and Montgomery Counties, which both saw declines of 7.1% to 987 and 788, respectively, and Falls Church City, which fell -76.5% to 4.  Arlington County saw the largest increase in pending sales (+19.4% to 215) and Prince George’s County had the smallest increase (+2.2% to 994).  


 

  • January’s 4,232 new listings were down 6.8% from last year but were up a seasonal 51.2% from last month. 
  • Compared to last year, new townhome listings were down 0.3% to 1,072, new condo listings were down 2.8% to 1,296, and new single-family listings were down 12.6% to 1,859.
  • New listings are just barely above the 5-year average of 4,224 but are below the 10-year average of 4,440. 
  • January new listings are 5.7% above the 10-year low of 4,004 seen in January 2013 and are 22.8% below the peak of 5,484 seen in January 2009.
  • Across the region, Falls Church City saw the largest percentage decline in new listings (-50.0% to 8).  The only increases in new listings were in Fairfax City (+35.5% to 42) and in Alexandria City (+0.5% to 217).


 

  • There were 6,155 active listings at the end of January, down 14.8% compared to last year and down 8.6% compared to last month.  Year-over-year inventory levels have declined for 21 consecutive months.
  • Compared to last year, townhome inventories were down 3.5% to 1,197, while condo inventories were down 13.1% to 1,739 and single-family detached inventories were down 19.2% to 3,208.
  • Inventories are well below both the 5-year average of 7,270 and the 10-year average of 9,882.
  • January inventory levels exceed the 2013 low of 6,049 by just 1.8% but are down 69.5% from the peak of 20,197 seen in January 2009.
  • Across the region, inventory levels increased only in Fairfax City, (+33.3% to 48).  The largest percentage decline was in Falls Church City (-31.6% to 13) and the smallest decline was in Alexandria City (-4.6% to 289).


 

  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for January was 96.9%, down just slightly from last year’s 97.0%.  It was also down from last month’s 97.2%. 
  • Townhomes have the highest January SP to OLP ratio of 98.0%.  Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.7% and single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.4%.
  • January’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 96.4% and the 10-year average of 94.8%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest January average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2009, when it was 90.0%.  Last January’s high of 97.0% was the highest of the last 10 years.
  • Falls Church City saw the highest regional SP to OLP ratio of 100.5% on three sales, up significantly from last year’s 94.8%.
  • Fairfax City had the lowest SP to OLP ratio of 93.6%, down significantly from last year’s 96.7%.


 

  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in January was 30 days, down four days from last year but up three days from last month.
  • Townhomes have a median DOM of 20, while condos have a median DOM of 32, and single-family detached homes have a median DOM of 36.
  • January’s median DOM was seven days below the 5-year average of 37 days and 15 days below the 10-year average of 45 days.
  • This month’s median DOM of 30 is the lowest January level in a decade (the previous low had been 32 days in 2013 and 2014).  The highest January median DOM of the last 10 years was 81 days in 2009.
  • The highest median DOM in the region in January was in Falls Church City, where it was 40 days, down from 60 days last year. 
  • Fairfax City had the lowest median DOM of 13 days, down significantly from 58 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 atwww.econ70.com.

dc metro, market analysis, press release
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