DC Metro Inventory Up for First Time in Over Two Years

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Corey Hart



Median price increases for all jurisdictions in the region


Demand in the Washington DC Metro Region housing market continues to grow, with sales and pending contracts increasing 19.1 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively, from last October.  Total inventory increased from the prior year for the first time in over two years, driven by townhomes and condo properties.  Despite the uptick in active listings, total inventory is still at historic lows and is only 35.7 percent of its 2007 peak level.  New listings increased 19.2 percent from this time last year and contributed to the increase in total inventory.  The median sales price increased in all jurisdictions as compared to last October.  The regional median sales price also increased 4.8 percent from last year, which is a slower pace than earlier this year primarily as a result of a slower increase in the median sale price of single-family detached homes. 

Condo properties led the growth in all metrics, including new and active listings.  Smaller units had strong growth in median sales price and closed sales, with units less than 800 square feet having a 16.5 percent increase in median sales price and a 35.1 percent increase in closed sales.  But they continue to be a small part of the market, accounting for 7.9 percent of all sales.  The median-days-on-market for all homes is 16 days and continues to be historically low.  While inventory remains low, the increase in active listings and new listings may temper the rate of growth for sales prices.

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Condos lead in sales growth; double-digit sales growth for the seventh consecutive month.  There were 3,892 sales in October in the Washington DC Metro Area, 19.1 percent more than a year ago, and the highest October-level since 2009.  The number of sales increased 6.6 percent from last month, which is the largest September to October increase on record, with data going back to 1997.  For the third month in a row, condos had the strongest sales growth of the property segments, increasing 21.5 percent as compared to last year.  Townhome sales rose by nearly as much, increasing 19.9 percent from last October.  Single-family detached home sales increased by 17.2 percent from this time last year.


Median sale price increases in all jurisdictions; highest October-level in six years.  At $380,000, the median sale price in the Washington DC Metro Area is 4.8 percent, or $17,500, higher than this time last year.  This year-over-year growth is milder than in prior months as the increase in single-family detached homes slowed slightly.  Condos led all property segments in median sale price rate of growth, increasing 9.3 percent from October 2012 for a gain of $25,000.  The median sale price for townhomes in the region increased 6.7, or by $24,550, from this time last year.  The median sale prices of single-family detached homes rose 7.5 percent, a gain of $31,800 from last year.

Among the jurisdictions in the region, Prince George’s County had the highest growth rate, increasing 15.6 percent from October 2012.  This was the eighth consecutive double-digit increase for this indicator for Prince George’s County.  For the fourth time this year, all jurisdictions in the region had year-over-year price increases.  The year-to-date median sale price for the region as a whole increased to $399,999 from $365,000 for a 9.6 percent gain from the same period last year.


Mild increase in contracts driven by condos and single-family homes.  There were 4,535 new contracts signed in October, 1.7 percent, or 76 contracts, more than this time last year.  This is the highest October total in seven years, but a milder year-over-year increase than during the summer months.  New contracts increased 6.5 percent from last month, which is slightly higher than the ten-year average September to October change of 4.3 percent.  Condo properties had the highest rate of growth in new contracts, increasing 5.3 percent, or by 61 contracts, from last October.  New contracts for single-family detached homes increased 1.6 percent, or by 46 contracts.  New contracts for townhomes decreased 1.6 percent, or by 19 contracts.


Increase in active listings; continued double-digit increases in new inventory.  Active listings in the DC Metro Area increased 5.6 percent from this time last year to 9,254 listings at the end of October.  This is an increase of 488 listings and the first year-over-year increase in inventory in over two years.  Despite this increase, active listings are 64.3 percent lower than their September 2007 peak.  Single-family detached homes were the only property segment to have fewer listings compared to this time last year, declining 0.7 percent, and bringing them to their lowest October-level in nine years.  There were 1,768 townhome listings, 14.9 percent, or 229 listings, more than last year.  Active listings for condo properties increased 15.3 percent, or 300 listings, from this time last year.  This is the second consecutive year-over year increase for both townhomes and condos.  Gains in new listings have contributed to the increase in active listings.  There were 5,470 new listings in October, which is an increase of 19.2 percent from last year.  This is the seventh consecutive month of double-digit growth for this indicator, evidence that sellers are becoming more confident in the market.  Condos continue to lead all property segments in new listing growth, increasing 31.6 percent from last October.  New listings of townhomes increased 19.4 percent, and new listings for single-family detached homes increased 13.0 percent from this time last year.  The median-days-on-market remains historically low, at 16 days, and is the lowest October-level since 2005, when it was also 16.



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 rbiEXPERT, 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 graphics, can be found at www.rbintel.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.

DC Metro Area, market analysis, press release
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