DC Metro Prices up 7.4%, DC and Arlington at Record Highs

Posted on May 10, 2013 by Corey Hart



Lowest days-on-market in 8 years; Active listings remain low, however new listings spike for the 1st time in 2 years


Market indicators point to a healthy spring market in the Washington DC Metro Region.  Sales and median prices continue to rise, and new contract activity is up after several months of declines.  The low inventory of homes for sale coupled with strong demand on the buyer side is fueling much of the market growth. While active listings remain historically low, new listings spiked in April, possibly an early sign of a changing pattern.  The rise in new listings could indicate that sellers are starting to be drawn into the market by higher price points and faster sale times. 

The median days-on-market for the region is now 11 days, the lowest of any month since the peak of the housing boom in 2005.  Similarly, the average sale-to-list price ratio now stands at 98.2 percent for the region, the highest it has been for any month since April 2006.  The condo market led all property segments in sales and new contract growth.  Once again, the District of Columbia posted its highest median sale price on record at $470,000, outpacing the previous record from last month by $10,000.

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Spring market looking strong, highest April sales in 3 years, double-digit growth for the region.  There were 4,233 sales in April in the Washington DC Metro Region, 12.3 percent higher than this time last year, and the highest April total in three years.  Sales are up 18.6 percent from last month, which is twice the 10-yr average March-to-April increase of 9.3 percent.  Condos continue to post the fastest sales growth, rising 24.8 percent from April 2012, the highest year-over-year growth for this property segment since May 2010.  Townhome sales rose 12.4 percent from this time last year, and single-family detached sales increased 6.3 percent.  Condos are attractive to many first-time homebuyers and empty nesters looking to downsize, which continues to fuel the demand.


Steady price growth continues around the region; sharpest gains in Maryland.  DC posts another record high.  At $400,000, the median sale price in the Washington DC Metro region is 7.7 percent higher than this time last year, the highest April median price in six years.  The low inventory of active listings continues to put upward pressure on prices.  The median price for townhomes and single-family detached homes both increased 10.0 percent from April 2012.  The median price for condos in the region rose 5.5 percent from last year.  At the jurisdiction level, median price growth continues to climb, particularly in Maryland.  Montgomery County led all jurisdictions in terms of growth rate, with prices up 10.3 percent from April 2012.  Prince George’s County was not far behind, rising 10.1 percent from last year.  Once again, the District of Columbia recorded its highest median sale price on record at $470,000. Arlington County also posted its highest median sale price on record at $560,000, $10,000 higher that its previous high of $550,000 in June 2012.


New contracts back on the rise compared to last year.  Condos lead all property segments in growth.  After declining four of the past five months relative to last year, new contracts are back on the rise in the Washington DC region.  There were 6,171 new contracts in April, up 9.0 percent from this time last year, and the highest April total in eight years.  As with sales, new contract growth from last month is about twice its 10-year seasonal average, rising 14.8 percent from March.  The condo market led all property segments in new contract growth, rising 18.7 percent from April 2012.  After nearly a year of declines or marginal growth, new contracts for single-family detached homes are up 6.2 percent from April 2012.  New contracts on townhomes are up 5.8 percent from this time last year.


Active listings remain low, but new listings spike in April, with double-digit growth across all property segments.  There were 7,123 active listings in the DC Metro Region at the end of April, a drop of over 3,500 listings from April 2012.  The region’s inventory is now has less than half of the 10-year average.  The shortage continues to impact all property segments particularly townhomes, which with 1,124 active listings are at their lowest April-level on record, with data available back to 1997.  New listings, on the other hand, have spiked up.  There were 7,238 new listings in April, an increase of 15.3 percent from this time last year, and the sharpest gain in 3 years.  Notably, all property segments posted double-digit growth with condos leading the way, up 27.3 percent.  New listings for single-family detached homes rose 12.7 percent, and new townhome listings are up 10.1 percent.   This is the sharpest gain for this property segment in three years.


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.


DC Metro Area, market analysis, press release
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