DC Metro home prices flat in September

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Corey Hart
10

Oct

2014

Median sales price increases less than one percent; Contracts and closed sales both exceed five-year September averages

OVERVIEW

The Washington DC Metro area housing market in September continued the trends seen throughout the year, with buyer activity lower than its year-ago levels and seller activity continuing to rise.  Closed sales decreased 2.2 percent from September 2013, but were higher than their 2010, 2011 and 2012 totals.  Year-to-date closed sales are 4.3 percent lower than in the same period in 2013, but 7.2 percent higher than in 2012 and 12.4 percent higher than in 2011.  In September, there were increases in closed sales in four jurisdictions: Falls Church City (+122.2 percent), Arlington County (+10.3 percent), Montgomery County (+1.5 percent), and Washington, DC (+0.7 percent). 

New pending contracts decreased from last year, but for the first time in nearly a year, contracts for single-family detached homes increased.  The median sales price increased less than one percent in the region and the number of homes for sale continued to rise at a double-digit pace.  Active listings reached their highest total of any month since November 2011, with a double-digit year-over-year increase in new listings contributing to this increase.  But, as in prior months, inventory is less than half of its peak-level and remains relatively low.

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CLOSED SALES

Ninth month in a row of year-over-year declines for total sales; increase for townhomes.  There were 3,569 closed sales in the Washington DC Metro Area in September.  This is 2.2 percent, or 82 sales, fewer sales than last September and marks the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year declines.  But closed sales remained higher than in September of 2010, 2011 and 2012.  The number of closed sales of townhomes increased by 12 sales, or 1.3 percent, from this time last year and was the only property segment to increase.  Sales for single-family detached homes decreased 3.4 percent, or by 58 sales.  Condos had the sharpest decrease in closed sales and fell 3.9 percent, or by 39 sales from last year.  As compared to August 2014, the number of sales decreased 14.8 percent, which is a milder decrease than the 10-year average August to September change of -17.2 percent. 

PRICES

Small increase in median sales price driven by townhomes.  The median sales price for the region increased 0.8 percent, or by $3,000, from last September to $390,000.  This is the highest September-level since 2007.  This increase was driven by townhomes, which also had a median sales price of $390,000.  This is an increase of 2.4 percent, or $9,000, from last year and the highest September-level on record for townhomes, with data going back to 1997.  At $285,000, the median sales price for condo properties was unchanged from last year.  The median sales price for single-family detached homes decreased 1.6 percent, or by $7,697, to $475,000 and was the only property segment to decline.

Among the jurisdictions in the region, Falls Church City had the highest growth in in median sale price and rose 14.0 percent.  The median sales price for Prince George’s County increased by nearly as much, rising 11.9 percent from September 2013.  The County has now had 31 consecutive year-over-year increases in median sales price, which is the longest of any jurisdiction in the DC metro area.  Two jurisdictions in the region had declines in median sales price from this time last year: the Alexandria City (-12.0 percent) and Fairfax County (-1.3 percent).

NEW CONTRACTS

Contract activity virtually unchanged from September 2013; increase for single-family detached homes.  The number of new contracts signed in September was only slightly lower than last year, falling 0.2 percent, or by 9 contracts, to 4,251.  While this is the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases, it is the smallest percent decrease over that time range and the number of contracts exceeds the September-levels in 2006 through 2012.  New contracts for single-family detached homes increased 3.6 percent, or by 72 contracts, from last year, which was the first year-over-year increase for this indicator since November 2013.  These gains were offset by declines in contracts for both townhomes and condo properties.  Closed sales for townhomes decreased 2.4 percent, or by 26 listings, while those for condo properties decreased 4.8 percent, or by 57 contracts.  New contracts decreased 0.3 percent from last month, which is a milder decline than the ten-year average August to September change of -6.4 percent. 

INVENTORY

Highest inventory in any month for nearly three years; double-digit gains for new listings.  New listings continue to rise, increasing 11.7 percent, or by 700, from last year to 6,667 listings. This is the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year gains, and the highest percent increase of any month so far this year. This also represents the most new listings added in September since 2008. New listings of single-family detached homes increased 15.8 percent, or by 449 listings, from this time last year and led all property segments in growth.  New listings for condo properties increased 11.7 percent or by 188 listing, and new listings for townhomes increased 4.2 percent, or by 63 listings.  

The consistent gains in new listing activity coupled with a slower sales pace have resulted in continued increases in available inventory versus last year. There were 12,164 active listings to end September, which is the highest total of any month since November 2011.  Active listings increased 30.2 percent, or by 2,824 listings, from this time last year.  Active listings have now increased from the prior year for 12 months in a row but remain 53 percent lower than their 2007 peak when more than 25,000 properties were listed for sale.  Of the property segments, active listings for townhomes had the largest increase from last year and rose 36.8 percent, or by 649 listings.  There are 748 more active condo listings, an increase of 35.2 percent from last year. There were 6,869 active listings for single-family detached homes, 26.3 percent, or 1,429 listings, more than this time last year.

At 26 days, the median days-on-market (DOM) increased nine days from September 2013, but remains lower than the 10-year average September-level of 37 days. Townhomes continue to sell faster than other segments, with a median DOM of 20 days. Half the detached homes sold in September were on the market for less than one month, with a median DOM of 30 days.


About the RBI 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 RBI’s proprietary database. The bulk of this report’s content is readily available, down to the ZIP code level of granularity, via interactive charts and reports offered via SmartCharts Pro, a premium subscription service offered to real estate professionals interested in growing their business with the help of industry-leading and user-friendly analytics. 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. 

About RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC

RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals with business interests in the Mid-Atlantic region. The full monthly data report for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphs, can be found at www.getsmartcharts.com/statistics. RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the MRIS Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Visit rbintel.com or www.facebook.com/rbintel to learn more.

About the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University

The Center for Regional Analysis conducts research and analytical studies on economic, fiscal, demographic, housing, and social and policy issues related to the current and future growth of the Virginia, Maryland, and DC areas. Through its range of research and programs — major economic impact studies, economic forecasts, fiscal analyses, conferences and seminars, publications, information services, and data products — the Center’s activities strengthen decision-making by businesses, governments, and institutions throughout the Greater Washington region.  Visit http://cra.gmu.edu to learn more.

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