DC Metro contract activity reaches highest October level in a decade

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Corey Hart



Sales post best October since 2009; Median sales price virtually unchanged at $400,000; Inventory levels decline for sixth consecutive month

Rockville, MD – (November 10, 2016) – 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 2016 MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • October 2016’s median sales price of $400,000 was up 0.3% or $1,000 compared to last year.  October prices have been at or near $400,000 for the last three years.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $2 billion, up 4.5% from last October.
  • Closed sales of 3,970 were up 2.6% compared to last year, the highest October level since 2009.
  • New contracts increased by 1.4% to 4.862, the highest October level since 2005.  
  • New listings of 5,398 were down 12.4% year-over-year and down 20.4% compared to last month.
  • Active listings of 10,393 are down 18% compared to last year and down 6.4% compared to last month. This is the sixth consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in October was 97.4%, up from last year’s 96.7% but down from last month’s 97.5%.
  • The median days-on-market for October 2016 was 23 days, four days lower than last year.


  • October’s regional overall median sales price of $400,000 was a 0.3% or $1,000 increase over last year, and virtually the same as last month’s $399,900. 
  • The October median for the region is 26.4% above the October 2009 low of $316,500.
  • Prices are 3.0% and 9.2% above, respectively, the 5 and 10-year October averages.
  • Compared to last October, single-family detached homes increased 3.7% to $490,000, townhomes decreased 0.6% to $395,000 and condos decreased 2.3% to $297,944. 
  • Falls Church City remains the most expensive location in the region, with a median sales price of $702,500, which is 5.6% more than last year.  Prince George’s County continues to be the most affordable area in the region, with an October median sales price of $267,137, up 11.3% from last October. 
  • The year-to-date regional median sales price is up 0.6% to $415,000.  Prince George’s County (+8.5%) and Falls Church City (+7.4%) lead the region in year-to-date price growth. Arlington County (-1.8%) is the only jurisdiction to see declines in year-to-date prices versus 2015.


  • October’s closed sales of 3,970 were up 2.6% from last year, but down 5.1% from last month.  With the exception of July 2016, year-over-year prices have increased since December 2014.
  • All property segments saw increases in sales, with condos up 3.3% to 1,078, single-family detached sales up 2.3% to 1,843, and townhomes also up 2.3% to 1,048.
  • Sales were 5.7% above the 5-year average and 13.8% above the 10-year average.
  • October’s closed sales were up 41.0% compared to the market low of 2,815 seen in October 2011 and 4.8% less than the previous October 2009 high of 4,170.
  • Across the region, year-to-date sales in the D.C. Metro area are up 6.2%, with 45,248 closed sales.


  • There were 4,862 new pending sales entered in October 2016, up 1.4% compared to last year and up 3.6% from last month. 
  • Townhomes saw the only decline in pending sales, decreasing by 2.6% to 1,290.  Condo pending sales were up 5.0% to 1,277 and single-family detached homes were up 1.9% to 2,295.
  • Pending contracts were above both the 5-year average of 4,619 and the 10-year average of 4,086.
  • October 2016’s new pending sales number was the highest October level since 2005 and was 76.1% above the October 2008 low of 2,761.
  • For the entire region, new pending contracts for January-October are up 3.6% to 53,866.


  • There were 5,398 new listings in October, a 12.4% decline compared to last year and a 20.4% decrease compared to last month. 
  • All property types saw declines in the number of new listings, with condos down 14.5% to 1,455, single-family detached down 12.1% to 2,582, and townhomes down 10.6% to 1,361.
  • New listings are below both the 5-year average of 5,488 and the 10-year average of 5,735. 
  • October new listings are 17.7% above the 10-year low of 4,588 seen in October 2012 and 27.3% below the October 2007 high of 7,423.
  • Across the DC Metro area, the 65,605 cumulative new listings added through October are down 1.3% from last year.


  • Active inventories decreased to 10,393 at the end of October, down 18% from last year and down 6.4% from last month.
  • All property types show double-digit decreases in inventory levels over last year, with townhome inventories down 22.1% to 1,973, single-family detached inventories down 17.3% to 5,691 and condos down 16.2% to 2,722.
  • Inventories are slightly below the 5-year average of 10,602, but well below the 10-year average of 14,694.
  • October inventories exceed the 2012 low of 8,766 by 18.6%, but are down 58.9% from the peak of 25,303 seen in October 2007.
  • All jurisdictions in the D.C. Metro area except Falls Church City saw declines in inventory levels, with the largest in Fairfax County (-22.0%) and the smallest in Fairfax City (-3.8%).


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for October was 97.4%, up from last year’s 96.7% but down from last month’s 97.5%.
  • Over the last decade, the region’s October average sales price to original listing price ratio ranged from a low of 92.2% in 2008 to a high of 97.7% in 2013.
  • On average, homes in Washington D.C. sold at 98.7% of their original listing price in October, the highest in the region, down slightly from the 99.0% seen last year.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Fairfax County, where the average ratio was 96.6%, up from last year’s 96.1%
  • Year-to-date, the SP to OLP ratio for the region is 97.6%, up slightly from the cumulative SP to OLP of 97.4% through October last year.


  • The median days-on-market in October was 23 days, down four days from last year and one day from last month.
  • Single-family detached homes had the highest median DOM of 27, while condos had a median DOM of 23 and townhomes had a median DOM of 17.
  • October’s median DOM matched the 5-year average of 23 days but was well below the 10-year average of 35 days.
  • The lowest October DOM recorded in the past decade was 16 days in 2013; the highest was 64 days in 2008.
  • Regionally, the highest median DOM in October was recorded in Fairfax City at 36 days (down from 42 last year).  The lowest median DOM is in Washington D.C. at 12 days (up from 11 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 MRIS.

About MRIS

MRIS is a leading provider of real estate information technology and one of the nation’s leading multiple listing services (MLS), facilitating nearly $51 billion in system wide sales in 2015. The company supports over 45,000 real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. MRIS provides its customers with a portfolio of best-in-class desktop, mobile and cloud-based technologies to improve the real estate transaction process for both real estate professionals and homebuyers and sellers. For more information, please visitor MRIShomes.com to search for thousands of available homes in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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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