Flat sales, high prices in DC area in February

Posted on March 12, 2018 by Corey Hart
12

Mar

2018

Washington D.C. Metro median price of $410,000 at highest February level in decade; closed sales and pending contracts down slightly from last year; inventory levels remain near record lows.

Rockville, MD – (March 12, 2018) – 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 February 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report

OVERVIEW

  • The Washington D.C. Metro February median sales price of $410,000 was up 2.6% or $10,300 compared to last year, the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was over $1.53 billion, down 3.6% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 3,043 were down 1.8% compared to last year and were up 2.3% from last month.  
  • New contracts of 4,449 were down 4.4% compared to last year, but up 12.5% from last month.
  • The 5,308 new listings in February were down 4.5% compared to last year but were up 25.4% from last month.
  • Active listings of 6,494 are down 13.4% compared to last year but are up 5.5% compared to last month. This is the 22nd consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in February was 97.7%, up from last year’s 97.4%
  • The median days-on-market this month was 28 days, the same as last year.


 

  • February’s regional median sales price of $410,000 was an increase of 2.6% or $10,300 compared to last year, and up 2.5% or $10,100 compared to last month.  This is the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and was the highest February level of the last 10 years.
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached home prices increased 3.9% to $498,500, townhome prices rose 2.8% to $411,000 and condo prices increased 1.2% to $303,500. 
  • February prices are above the 5-year average of $390,940 and the 10-year average of $353,660.
  • The regional price of $410,000 is 36.7% higher than the market low of $300,000 seen in 2009 and 2011.
  • The most expensive location in the region is Falls Church City, with a median sales price of $700,575, up 13.9% from last year.
  • The most affordable area is still Prince George’s County, with a median sales price of $278,000, a 4.9% increase over last year. 
  • For the year-to-date, prices are up 2.5% across the DC metro to $405,000.


 

  • There were 3,043 closed sales, down 1.8% from last year but up 2.3% from last month. 
  • All property types saw closed sales decrease.  Townhome sales were down 5.0% to 783, single-family detached were down 1.0% to 1,328 and condos were down 0.2% to 929.
  • Sales were well above both the 5-year average of 2,843 and the 10-year average of 2,665.
  • February’s closed sales were 33.6% above the February 2009 market low of 2,277.
  • Across the region, Fairfax City (+21.7% to 28), Alexandria City (+18.6% to 166), Washington D.C. (+10.0% to 595), Prince George’s County (+4.1% to 691) and Arlington County (+3.6% to 175) saw increases in sales, while Fairfax County (-9.2% to 768), Montgomery County (-12.4% to 614) and Falls Church City (-57.1% to 6 sales) saw declines.
  • For the DC metro for the year-to-date, sales of 6,115 are down 1.9% compared to the same period last year.   


 

  • New pending sales of 4,449 were down 4.4% from last year but were up 12.5% compared to last month. 
  • Pending sales of single-family detached homes were down 5.7% to 2,028, townhomes were down 5.6% to 1,156 and condo pending sales were down 1.3% to 1,264.   
  • Pending sales are above the 5-year average of 4,303 and the 10-year average of 4,049.
  • February’s new pending sales were 46.3% more than the February 2010 low of 3,041.
  • Pending sales activity across the region was generally lower than last year.  Falls Church City (+16.7% to 14) and Alexandria City (+6.0% to 230) had increases in pending sales, while all other jurisdictions saw declines, with the smallest decline in Prince George’s County (-1.1% to 976) and the largest percentage decline in Fairfax City (-25.6% to 29).


 

  • February’s 5,308 new listings were down 4.5% from last year but were up a seasonal 25.4% from last month. 
  • Compared to last year, new single-family listings were down 6.3% to 2,489, while new townhome listings were down 3.7% to 1,317 and new condo listings were down 2.4% to 1,499.
  • New listings are above the 5-year average of 5,070 and the 10-year average of 4,972. 
  • February new listings are 20.8% above the 10-year low of 4,393 seen in February 2014 and are 7.9% below the peak of 5,765 seen in February 2009.
  • Falls Church City saw the largest percentage increase in new listings (+50.0% to 15) and Fairfax City was also up (+2.4% to 42), but new listings were down elsewhere across the region, with the largest decrease in new listings in Arlington County (-10.9% to 294).
  • For the year to date, new listings of 9,559 are down 5.6% compared to last year.


 

  • There were 6,494 active listings at the end of February, down 13.4% compared to last year but up 5.5% compared to last month.  Year-over-year inventory levels have declined for 22 consecutive months.
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached inventories were down 16.5% to 3,431, condo inventories were down 14.2% to 1,803, and townhome inventories were down 2.5% to 1,248.
  • Inventories are well below both the 5-year average of 7,495 and the 10-year average of 10,013.
  • February inventory levels exceed the 2013 low of 6,092 by 6.6% and are down 67.8% from the peak of 20,155 seen in February 2009.
  • Across the region, inventory levels increased only in Fairfax City, (+56.4% to 61).  The largest percentage decline in inventories was in Fairfax County (-22.9% to 1,653) and the smallest decline was in Prince George’s County (-4.9% to 1,531).


 

  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for February was 97.7%, up just slightly from last year’s 97.4%, but up significantly from last month’s 96.9%. 
  • Townhomes have the highest February SP to OLP ratio of 98.4%.  Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 97.9% and single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 97.2%.
  • February’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 97.2% and the 10-year average of 95.5%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest February average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2009, when it was 89.8%.  Prior to this year, the highest February level of the last ten years was in 2014 when it was 97.5%.
  • Washington D.C. saw the highest regional SP to OLP ratio of 98.3%, down just slightly from last year’s 98.5%.
  • Falls Church City had the lowest SP to OLP ratio of 96.8%, down from last year’s 100.9%, but with such a small number of sales (six) data is highly subject to fluctuation.


 

  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in February was 28 days, the same as last year but down two days from last month.
  • Townhomes have a median DOM of 18, while condos have a median DOM of 27, and single-family detached homes have a median DOM of 33.
  • February’s median DOM was six days below the 5-year average of 34 days and 14 days below the 10-year average of 42 days.
  • This month’s median DOM of 28 is the same as seen in February 2014 and 2017.  The lowest February DOM of the decade is 24 days in 2013.  The highest February median DOM of the last 10 years was 80 days in 2009.
  • The highest median DOM in the region in February was in Fairfax City, where it was 72 days, up from 55 days last year. 
  • Washington D.C. had the lowest median DOM of 18 days, the same as last year.
  • For the year-to-date and across the entire D.C. metro, median DOM is down to 29 days from 32 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 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 85,000 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 atwww.econ70.com.

 

dc metro, market analysis, press release
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