DC area median sales price hits all-time high in May

Posted on June 11, 2019 by Corey Hart



The region's median sales price reaches $480,000; sales down slightly; inventory levels continue to decline

Rockville, MD – (June 11, 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 May 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

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  • The May 2019 Washington D.C. Metro area median home price of $480,000 was up 3.2% or $15,000 compared to last year and was the highest overall median sales price of the decade, breaking the previous record price of $475,000 set last month.  This marks nearly 3 full years of year-over-year price appreciation.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $3.3 billion, up just 0.7% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 5,688 in May were down 0.6% from last year, a bit of a disappointment after last month’s increase in closed sales. 
  • New pending sales were also down, by 1.4% to 6,399.
  • New listings though, crept up by 0.9% to 8,397.
  • Still, active listings continue to decline.  This month, inventory levels were down 8.8% to 8,562. 
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 99.4%, the highest May and overall level of the last decade.


  • May’s median sales price of $480,000 was up 3.2% or $15,000 compared to last year and was up 1.1% from last month’s $475,000, the 32nd consecutive month of Y-o-Y price appreciation.
  • Compared to last year, prices for townhomes rose 2.5% to $451,100 and condos rose by 1.9% to $326,000.  Single-family detached prices were virtually flat at $599,900.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $454,000 and the 10-year average of $421,266.
  • This month’s median sales price is 40.5% higher than the trough seen in May 2010.
  • Falls Church City continues to have the most expensive homes in the region, with a median sales price of $905,000, a 46.2% increase from last May.  Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area, with a median sales price of $315,000, an 8.4% increase over last year.
  • Across the region, prices were mixed.  They declined in Alexandria City (-6.9% to $512,000), in Montgomery County (-1.5% to $467,750) and in Fairfax City (-0.8% to $567,500).  In addition to the gains in Falls Church City and in Prince George’s County, prices also increased in Arlington County (+9.8% to $615,000), in Fairfax County (+3.6% to $549,000) and in Washington D.C. (+0.8% to $600,555).
  • For the year-to-date, prices across the region are up 3.3% to $450,000.


  • Closed sales of 5,688 were down 0.6% from last year but were up a seasonal 13.8% from last month. 
  • Sales of single-family detached homes were up 3.7% to 2,782, but sales of condos were down 4.1% to 1,443 and sales of townhomes were down 4.7% to 1,459.
  • Sales remain above both the 5-year average of 5,459 and the 10-year average of 5,009.
  • May closed sales are 45.2% above the May 2011 trough of 3,917.
  • The largest percentage gain in closed sales was in Falls Church City (+63.2% to 31). Sales in Prince George’s County also rose (+5.8% to 1,056) and in Montgomery County (+0.8% to 1,325).  Elsewhere they were down, with the smallest percentage decline in Fairfax County (-1.6% to 1,745) and the largest percentage decline in Fairfax City (-25.0% to 39).
  • For the year to date, regional closed sales are virtually flat at 21,402.


  • New pending sales of 6,399 were down 1.4% from last year and down 1.8% from last month.  
  • New pending sales of single-family detached homes were up 1.1% to 3,199, and new pending sales of condos were up 0.9% to 1,644, but townhomes were down 8.2% to 1,554.
  • New pending sales are below the 5-year average of 6,419 but exceed the 10-year average of 5,868.
  • New pending sales this month were 66.3% more than the May 2010 low of 3,849 and are 4.0% below the peak May 2017 level of 6,668.
  • New pending sales activity across the region was mixed, with Fairfax City showing the largest percentage increase in new pending sales (+16.7% to 49) and Alexandria City showing the largest percentage decline (-20.3% to 247).


  • The 8,397 new listings in May were up 0.9% compared to last year and were up 5.3% compared to last month.  This is the highest level of new listings in May in this decade and is a bright spot after the prior three months of declining year-over-year new listings. 
  • New listings of condos compared to last year were down 5.7% to 2,069 and townhomes were down 1.3% to 1,987.  However, new listings of single-family homes were up 5.2% to 4,330.
  • New listings are above the 5-year average of 8,104 and the 10-year average of 7,438. 
  • May new listings are 40.0% above the May 2010 low of 5,996.
  • New listing activity across the region was also mixed. The largest gain was in Fairfax City (+18.6% to 70) and the largest decline was in Alexandria City (-23.9% to 309).
  • For the year-to-date, regional new listings are down 2.9% to 33,017.


  • Active inventories of 8,562 were down 8.8% compared to last year but were up 13.6% compared to last month.
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached inventories were down 0.9% to 5,143, townhome inventories were down 9.5% to 1,548 and condo inventories were down 25.7% to 1,839. 
  • Inventories remain well below the 5-year average of 10,198 and the 10-year average of 11,143.
  • May inventory levels are just 7.0% above the 2013 low of 7,999 and are down 46.3% from the peak of 15,942 seen in May 2010.
  • May inventory levels increased in Washington D.C. (+7.2% to 1,571) and in Montgomery County (+1.6% to 2,432) , but they declined everywhere else, with the smallest percentage decline in Prince George’s County (-5.6% to 1,643) and the largest percentage decline in Alexandria City (-55.8% to 202). 


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for May was 99.4%, up from last year’s 99.0% and also up from last month’s 99.3%.
  • Townhomes have the highest May SP to OLP ratio of 100.0%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 99.3%, and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 99.1%.
  • May’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 98.7% and the 10-year average of 97.8%.
  • Over the last decade, the highest May average sales price to original listing price ratio was this month’s 99.4%.  The prior May high was last year’s 99.0%.  The lowest was in May 2011, when it was just 94.4%.
  • This month, multiple jurisdictions saw SP to OLP ratios above 100%, including Alexandria City (100.7%), Arlington County (100.5%), and Falls Church City (100.3%). 
  • Prince George’s County had the lowest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 98.8%, which was down from 99.1% last year.
  • For the year to date, regional SP to OLP ratio is 98.6%, up from last year’s 98.4%. 


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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