DC Metro home sales jump despite record September prices

Posted on October 11, 2019 by Corey Hart



Washington D.C. Metro median sales prices hit new September record at $431,000; sales rise by almost 10%; inventory levels are very lean

Rockville, MD – (October 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 September 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The September 2019 Washington D.C. Metro area median home price of $431,000 set a new September record, up 2.6% or $11,000 compared to last year.  This marks 36 months of consecutive price appreciation in the D.C. Metro area.
  • Regional sales volume across the DC Metro area was up 15.0% to $2.1 billion,
  • Closed sales of 3,972 were up 9.2% compared to last year and new pending sales were up by 10.5% to 4,912.
  • New listings of properties compared to last year were nearly flat at 6,763.
  • All of the above combined to drive overall inventory levels down to the lowest September level of the decade at 8,437.  This is the fourth month in a row of double-digit declines in year-over-year inventories.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 98.4%, up from 97.7% last year and at the highest September level of the last ten years.


  • The September median sales price of $431,000 was up 2.6% or $11,000 from last year and was down a seasonal 7.3% or $34,000 from last month.   Prices have now shown year-over-year gains for three full years.
  • Compared to last year, prices for condos rose 5.5% to $316,000 and single-family homes rose by 3.7% to $530,000.  Townhome prices were flat at $425,000.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $411,180 and the 10-year average of $386,090.
  • This month’s median sales price is 30.6% higher than the trough seen in September 2010 of $330,000.
  • Falls Church City continues to have the most expensive homes in the region, with a median sales price of $735,000, up 21.0% from last year, while Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area, at a median sales price of $315,000, a 6.8% increase over last year.
  • Only Alexandria City saw a decline in prices compared to last year (-1.3% to $498,000).  Everywhere else prices increased, with gains ranging from a high of 21.0% in Falls Church City to a low of 2.1% in Montgomery County.
  • For the year-to-date, prices across the region are up 3.6% to $458,000.


  • Closed sales of 3,972 rose by 9.2% over last year but declined a seasonal 19.1% from last month. 
  • Compared to last year, sales of single-family detached homes were up 14.9% to 1,864, while condos were up 6.6% to 1,096 and sales of townhomes were up 2.4% to 1,009.
  • Sales are just below the 5-year average of 3,990 but remain above the 10-year average of 3,687.
  • September closed sales are 27.7% above the September 2011 trough of 3,110 and are 5.0% below the peak of 4,183 seen in September 2016.
  • Sales activity was mostly up across the region, with the largest percentage gain in Fairfax City (+55.0% to 31) and the smallest percentage gain in Washington D.C. (+1.2% to 595).  Only Alexandria City (-7.9% to 175) and Arlington County (-8.7% to 190) saw declines.
  • For the year to date, regional closed sales are up a slight 0.7% to 42,221.


  • The 4,912 new pending sales in September were up 10.5% from last year and up 1.4% from last month, the highest September level of the decade.
  • New pending sales of townhomes were up 13.0% to 1,337, new pending sales of single-family detached were up 12.7% to 2,258, and new pending sales of condos were up 4.2% to 1,310.
  • New pending sales are above both the 5-year average of 4,728 and the 10-year average of 4,358.
  • New pending sales this month were 44.1% more than the September 2010 low of 3,408.
  • New pending sales across the region were mostly up, with Montgomery County seeing the largest percentage increase in new pending sales (+19.7% to 1,107) and Prince George’s County (+2.9% to 1,089) seeing the smallest increase.  Alexandria City (-3.3% to 208) and Fairfax City (-24.3% to 28) both saw declines in new pending sales.


  • New listings compared to last year rose by a scant 0.3% to 6,763 and were up a seasonal 19.6% over last month.
  • New listings of single-family detached homes compared to last year were up 3.6% to 3,220, but new listings of townhomes were down 0.6% to 1,689 and condos were down 4.2% to 1,849.
  • New listings are just below the 5-year average of 6,828 but above the 10-year average of 6,386. 
  • September new listings are 32.0% above the September 2012 low of 5,124 but are 3.0% below the September 2017 high of 6,972.
  • New listing activity was mixed, with only Washington D.C. (+10.0% to 1,585) and Montgomery County (+9.7% to 1,590) seeing increases.  The smallest percentage decrease was in Prince George’s County (-1.4% to 1,272).  The largest decline was in Fairfax City (-20.9% to 34).
  • For the year-to-date, regional new listings are down 4.1% to 58,312.


  • Active inventories declined 19.9% to just 8,437, the eighth consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels.  Compared to last month, inventories were up 9.0%.
  • Compared to last year, condo inventories are down 31.1% to 1,875, townhome inventories are down 18.3% to 1,765, and single-family detached inventories are down 15.4% to 4,777. 
  • Inventories are solidly below the 5-year average of 10,787 and the 10-year average of 11,692.
  • September inventory levels are less than half the peak level of 17,173 seen in September 2010.
  • Inventory levels declined everywhere except in Washington D.C., where they rose 4.6% to 1,718.  The smallest percentage decline was in Montgomery County (-10.0% to 2,299) and the largest percentage decline was in Falls Church City (-58.1% to 13). 


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for September was 98.4%, up from last year’s 97.7% but down from last month’s 98.6%.
  • Townhomes have the highest September SP to OLP ratio of 99.1%, followed by condos with a SP to OLP ratio of 99.0%, and single-family detached homes with a SP to OLP ratio of 97.7%.
  • September’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 97.7% and the 10-year average of 96.7%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest SP to OLP ratio was in September 2011, when it was just 93.3%.  Prior to this year, the September high had been in 2013 when it was 98.0%.
  • Alexandria City had an SP to OLP ratio of 100.0% (compared to 97.5% last year), the highest in the region.
  • Falls Church City had the lowest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 97.4%, which was down significantly from 99.4% last year (but the limited number of sales in Falls Church City make the data highly variable).
  • For the year to date, regional SP to OLP ratio is 98.7%, up just slightly 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 95,000 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
Comments: 0  |  Back to rbiBLOG

RBI Sign In

Forgot password? Click here...