DC Metro home sales reach highest May level since 2006

Posted on June 10, 2016 by Corey Hart



Median sales price of $430,000 down 1.1%; Pending contracts set new May highs; Inventory levels decline for first time since September 2013

Rockville, MD – (June 10, 2016) – The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of ShowingTime RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and is based on May 2016 MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • May 2016’s median sales price of $430,000 was down 1.1% or $5,000 compared to last year, but was up $10,750 or 2.6% compared to last month.    
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was more than $2.8 billion, up 11.4% from last May and up 19.3% from last month.
  • May closed sales of 5,432 were up 12.3% compared to last year and were at a new decade high for the month.  This is the 18th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in closed sales.
  • New contracts increased by 3.7% to 6,385, a new May record.
  • New listings of 7,436 were down 10.1% year-over-year and down 15.6% compared to last month.
  • Active inventories of 11,072 listings were down 8.5% from last year and down 0.4% from last month.  This marks the first time since September 2013 that Y-O-Y inventories declined.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in May was 98.3%, up from last year’s 98.1%.
  • The median days-on-market for May 2016 was 13 days, up one day from last year, and down one day from last month.


  • May’s regional overall median sales price dipped slightly to $430,000, a 1.1% decrease over last year’s $435,000.  This month, only condo prices saw an increase, rising 1.1% to $310,500.    Single-family detached prices declined 0.9% to $535,000 and townhome prices dropped 2.8% to $415,000. 
  • Prices are 1.8% and 8.5% above the 5-year and 10-year averages of $422,460 and $396,135, respectively.
  • The overall regional price of $430,000 is 25.8% above the May 2010 low of $341,750.
  • Falls Church City remains the most expensive location in the region with a May median sales price of $625,000, (down 11.8% from last year) while Prince George’s County continues to be the most affordable area in the region with a May median sales price of $250,000 (up 2.5% from last May).  Fairfax City saw the largest percentage decline in median sales price, down 15.5% to $440,000, while Alexandria City saw the largest increase of 3.1% to $538,500.


  • May’s closed sales of 5,432 set a new 10-year May high.  Sales were up 12.3% compared to last year’s 4,835 and up 16.1% compared to last month’s 4,678, making this the second highest monthly level since August 2006. 
  • Single-family detached sales were up 15.2% to 2,661, while condo sales were up 12.9% to 1,414 and townhome sales were up 6.5% to 1,357.
  • Sales are 11.4% above the 5-year avg. of 4,877 and 20.8% above the 10-year avg. of 4,498.
  • May’s closed sales of 5,432 exceeded the previous market high of May 2013 of 5,088 by 6.8%.  They were up 51.1% compared to the market low of 3,596 seen in 2008.
  • For the year-to-date across the entire metro, the number of closed sales are up 8.5% to 20,036.


  • There were 6,385 new pending sales at the end of May 2016, up 3.7% compared to last year and down 3.9% from last month.  With the exception of the weather-related dip in January of 2016, new pending contracts have increased year-over-year for 19 consecutive months.
  • All property types saw increases compared to last year, with single-family detached up 4.5% to 3,195, condos up 3.4% to 1,591 and townhomes up 2.3% to 1,597. 
  • Pending contracts were above both the 5-year average of 5,954 and the 10-year average of 5,229.
  • May 2016’s new pending sales number surpassed the previous May 2015 high of 6,158 by 3.7% and was 65.9% above the May 2010 low of 3,849.
  • For the entire metro, new pending contracts for January-May are up 5.4% to 27,542.


  • There were 7,436 new listings in May, a 10.1% decrease compared to last year and a 15.6% decline compared to last month.  New listings for single-family detached homes declined 12.8% to 3,691, townhomes declined 10.7% to 1,778 and condos decreased 4% to 1,963.
  • New listings were just barely above the 5-year avg. of 7,411 and the 10-year avg. of 7,428. 
  • The May new listings are 24% above the 10-year low of 5,996 seen in May 2010 and 25.7% below the May 2007 high of 10,013.
  • Across the DC Metro area, total new listings for January-May are up 2% to 33,932 compared to 2015.


  • Inventories decreased 8.5% to 11,072 at the end of May, and were down a slight 0.4% from last month’s 11,113.  This is the first decline in year-over-year inventory levels in 32 months.
  • All property types show a decrease in inventory levels over last year, with single-family detached inventories down 10% to 6,115, townhome inventories down 9% to 1,989 and condos down 4.6% to 2,958.
  • Inventories are 6.2% above the 5-year average of 10,425, but are 26.7% below the 10-year average of 15,096.
  • End of May inventories exceed the May 2013 low of 7,999 by 38.4%, but are down 57.2% from the peak of 25,872 seen in May 2008.
  • Only Washington D.C. saw an increase in inventories (+3.6%).  All other areas were down.


  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for May was 98.3%, up just slightly from last year’s 98.1% and also up from last month’s 98.0%.
  • Over the last decade, the region’s May average sales price to original listing price ratio ranged from a low of 91.9% in 2009 to a high of 98.7% in 2014.
  • On average, homes in Washington D.C. sold at 99.8% of their original listing price in May, the highest in the region and down slightly from the 100% seen last year.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Fairfax City, where the average ratio was 97.8%, down slightly from the 98.9% seen last year, followed by Arlington County, where the average ratio was also 97.8%, down from last year’s 98.4%.


  • The median days-on-market in May was 13 days, up one day from last year, but down one day from last month.
  • This month, condos had the highest median DOM of 17, while single-family detached had a median DOM of 13 and townhomes had a median DOM of 10.
  • DOM are at the 5-year average of 13 days and below the 10-year average of 23 days.
  • The lowest May DOM level recorded in the past decade was 9 days in 2013; the highest was 49 days in 2008.
  • The highest median DOM is in Prince George’s County, where it is 19 days (up from 16 days last year).  The lowest median DOM are in Washington D.C., where it is 9 days (up from 8 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 RBI’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 ShowingTime RBI, 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 visit MRIS.com or 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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