DC Metro sales prices just miss record high in June

Posted on July 10, 2015 by Corey Hart



DC Metro continues to see strong sales and contract activity; Slow but steady appreciation pushes median sales prices to near record highs

Rockville, MD – (July 10, 2015) – The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and is based on June 2015 MRIS housing data.


The Washington, D.C. Metro housing market enjoyed strong sales in June, with sales at the highest monthly level in nine years and pending sales at the highest June level in a decade.  Median days-on-market remain very low while median sales prices continue their slow but steady rise.  With closed sales of 5,652, this was the single highest monthly sales level since June 2006.  Sales increased by 13% from June 2014 and by 16.9% from May 2015.  The number of new contracts increased by 11.6% from June 2014 to 5,755, although new contracts have dropped slightly from April’s 6,203, which was the highest number of pending sales since July 2005. All market segments experienced year-over-year increases in both closed sales and new contracts.  Year-over-year, median sales prices rose by 1.4% to $439,000, which is nearly equal to the record highs of $440,000 seen in June 2013 and June 2007.  The median sales price for condos rose 4.2% to $312,500, single-family detached prices remained flat at $550,000 and townhomes increased 1.9% to $415,000. 

Compared to June 2014, inventories increased by 11.5% to 12,341 total active listings, with the number of condos increasing by the largest percentage at 19% to 3,157, townhome listings increasing by 11.4% to 2,225 and single-family detached listings increasing by 11.5% to 6,942.  New listings compared to June 2014 increased by 6.4% to 7,259 and median days-on-market (DOM) rose by three days to 15 days, up from 13 days last year. 

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Highest closed sales since June 2006, all segments exhibit year-over-year growth for fourth consecutive month.  Year-over-year closed sales of 5,649 increased by 13% or 649 sales compared to last year, the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year increases.   This was the highest monthly sales tally since June 2006, and exceeded the 5-year average by 13.2% and the 10-year average by 12.7%.  For the period January through June, the number of closed sales of 24,240 is up 9.1% compared to last year, and all jurisdictions in the region show increases in the number of sales compared to last year.    

For the fourth consecutive month, all market segments showed growth in closed sales year-over-year.  This month townhome sales led the way with a 15.2% increase to 1,429 sales.  Single-family detached sales increased by 15.1% to 2,814, and condo sales were up 7% to 1,406.  Compared to last month, overall sales are up by 817 units or 16.9%, with single-family detached experiencing a 21.9% increase, condos showing a 12.3% increase and townhomes experiencing a 12.2% increase.  


This month, distressed sales (those involving a foreclosure or short sale listing) across the region were 8.1% of all sales, compared to 9.5% last year.  The 455 distressed sales that closed this month in the region were mostly in Prince Georges County (264) and Montgomery County (115).


Highest number of June pending sales in over a decade.  The number of new contracts increased 11.6% from June 2014 to a total of 5,755.  New contracts have now risen year-over-year for eight consecutive months, and for the last five months all market segments demonstrated year-over-year increases. June contracts exceeded both the 5-year average of 5,311 and the 10-year average of 4,780, and are at the highest June level in at least a decade.  Single-family detached showed the largest year-over-year increase at 14.1% to 2,792 pending sales, followed by townhomes with a 13.4% increase to 1,494 pending sales, and condos with a 5.9% increase to 1,469 pending sales.  There was a decrease in pending sales of 6.5% or 403 units compared to last month, with all market segments showing decreases compared to last month.


June inventories show 18th consecutive month of double-digit growth, new listings at highest June level since 2007, DOM remain low.  Active listings continue to rise and have now increased from the prior year for 21 consecutive months.  There were 12,324 active listings at the end of June, which is an 11.5% increase from last year and a 2% increase over last month.  Condo inventory growth continues to lead, with a 19% increase in the number of active condo listings to 3,157.  The number of townhome listings is up 11.4% to 2,225 and single-family detached listings are up 11.5% to 6,942.  Inventory levels exceed the 5-year average of 11,520, but are still significantly below the 10-year average of 16,401.  The largest number of active listings are in Fairfax County with 4,337 properties listed, up a significant 21.8% over last year, followed by Montgomery County with 3,433, which is up 9.8% over the number of active listings at this time last year.

The number of new listings added in June was 7,258, a 6.4% increase, or 437 more than last year.  New listings for single-family detached increased by the largest percentage, at 8.2% to 3,667, followed by condos with a 5.6% increase to 1,816 and townhomes up by 3.7% to 1,775. 

At 15 days, the median days-on-market (DOM) increased by two days year-over-year and three days from last month.  Median days-on-market remains lower than the 5-year June average of 17 days and well below the 10-year average of 25 days.  Townhomes sold fastest in June, with half being on market 11 days or fewer prior to contract, while detached homes had a median DOM of 15 and condos had a median DOM of 18 days.  For the second straight month, the city of Falls Church had the lowest DOM in the region, with a median DOM of eight days.  Homes took longest to sell in the Maryland suburbs of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, though with median DOM levels of 17 days and 18 days respectively, the majority of homes in these jurisdictions continue to sell in less than three weeks. 


Median sales prices near record highs, over last twelve month prices continue to rise slowly but steadily.  The June median sales price of $439,000 represents a $6,000 or 1.4% increase over June 2014, and a $4,000 or 0.9% increase over last month.   The June median was just $1,000 off the record monthly high of $440,000 that was first reached in June 2007 and matched again in June 2013.  

Single-family detached prices held steady at $550,000 while townhome median sales prices were up by 1.9% to $415,000.  Condo prices increased 4.2% to $312,500 in June.  Sales volume across the region was nearly $3 billion, up 12.2% compared to June 2014.

The year-to-date median sales price is now $415,000, up 2.5% from mid-year 2014 and the highest mark since 2007, when prices reached $417,000.  Based on mid-year aggregate levels, prices have appreciated over 25% since bottoming out at $330,000 in the first half of 2010. Price changes in the region were mixed in June.

Falls Church City saw a significant 23.7% decline in median sales price to $568,500 on 20 sales, a 9.1% decline in the number of sales compared to last year, but because of the relatively few number of sales in Falls Church, prices often fluctuate dramatically from month to month; the year-to-date median in Falls Church is only down 2.4%. Fairfax City had a $4,000 decline in median sales price to $496,000 on a 9.1% increase in the number of sales to 48.  Fairfax City is the only other jurisdiction where year-to-date price levels are slightly lower than last year, dropping 0.5%.

In Fairfax County, the June median sales price narrowly missed last year’s mark by 0.3%, while sales jumped 19.3% to 1,861. Arlington County showed the highest June median sales price in the region, with a 3.9% median sales price increase to $597,450 on 352 sales, a 24.4% increase over last year.  Washington D.C. saw a 5.8% increase in median sales price to $550,000 on 863 sales, a 2.9% increase compared to last year.  The median sales price in Alexandria City increased by $14,850 to $514,750 on nearly identical sales.  Median sales prices in both Montgomery County and Prince George’s County increased by $10,000, with prices in Montgomery rising to $425,000 and prices in Prince George’s increasing to $240,000.  Sales were up 10.6% in Montgomery County to 1,393 and 16.7% in Prince George’s County to 852.  Though the $229,000 year-to-date median sales price in Prince George’s County is 45% below that of the region, the county’s 6.5% gain from its mid-year level in 2014 leads all jurisdictions in price appreciation.

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 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 in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Monthly reports for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphics, can be found at http://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 MLS.

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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