March listing activity gains outpace sales growth in the DC Metro area

Posted on April 11, 2016 by Corey Hart



Median sales prices down $1,000 to $399,000; Sales at highest March levels since 2010; New listings increase by 20%, Inventories up 8.4%

Rockville, MD – (April 11, 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 March 2016 MRIS housing data.

Click here to view full PDF version of this report


  • March 2016’s median sales price of $399,000 was down a slight 0.3% (-$1,000) compared to last year, but up $19,000 (+5%) from last month. 
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $1.8 billion, up 1.9% from last March and up 32.3% from February.
  • Closed sales in March of 3,755 were up 2.5% compared to last year, the 16th consecutive month of increases. 
  • The 6,165 new contracts increased by 11% compared to March 2015.
  • New listings were up 20% year-over-year to 8,352, the highest March level since 2007.
  • Active inventories rose 8.4% compared to March 2015 to 9,774.  The increase in year-over-year inventory growth in March was the largest since October 2013.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale was 97.1% in March, the same as 2015.
  • Half the homes sold in March were on market 27 days or less, up two days from last March, but down 17 days from last month.



  • March’s regional median sales price of $399,000 was a slight 0.3% lower than last year, with single-family detached and condo prices down about 1% but townhome prices up 1.5%.  This marks the fourth month in a row that overall prices have declined year-over-year. 
  • Prices are 4.6% above the 5-year average and 9.2% above the 10-year average.
  • Regional pricing levels are now 28.7% above the March 2010 low of $310,000, and only 3.4% off the March 2007 peak of $413,000.
  • Falls Church City remains the most expensive location in the region with a March median sales price of $806,000, while Prince George’s County continues to be the most affordable area in the region with a March median price of $234,900.
  • Only Falls Church City (+37.8%), Washington D.C. (+1.1%) and Prince George’s County (+4.5%) saw median price increases in March.  



  • There were 3,755 closed sales in March, up 2.5% compared to last year and up 30.7% compared to last month, marking the 16th month in a row of increased year-over-year sales. 
  • Single-family detached sales were down a slight 0.5%, while townhomes and condos were up 4.1% and 6.1% respectively.
  • For the year-to-date, sales are up 5.7% compared to January-March of last year.
  • March’s closed sales total was up 37.3% compared to the market low of 2,734 seen in 2008, but was 12.6% below 2007’s peak level of 4,294.
  • Fairfax County had the most closed sales in the region of 1,083, a slight 0.7% decrease from last year.  While the percentage increase in the number of sales in Fairfax City was 109%, the number of actual sales only increased from 11 to 23.



  • There were 6,165 new pending sales at the end of March 2016, up 11% compared to last year.
  • Pending contracts were above both the 5-year average of 5,556 and the 10-year average of 5,027.
  • All property types again saw increases in the number of new contracts compared to last year, with single-family detached up 13.6%, condos up 10% and townhomes up 7.5%. 
  • March 2016’s new pending sales number surpassed the March 2012 high of 5,671 by 8.7% and was nearly double the March 2008 low of 3,160.
  • Prince George’s County, with 1,312 new pending sales in March, had the largest year-over-year percentage increase, up 17.3%. 



  • The number of new listings in March rose to 8,352, a 20% gain compared to last year, with all property types showing growth of about 20%.  Compared to last month, new listings rose 61.5%, more than usual for this time of the year.
  • New listings in March were 22.5% above the 5-year average and 14% above the 10-year average. 
  • The March new listings are 43.6% above the 10-year low of 5,817 seen in March 2013 and are only 10.4% off the March 2007 market peak of 9,317.
  • All jurisdictions showed double-digit year-over-year increases in the number of new listings, with Washington D.C. the strongest at 27.3% and Fairfax City the weakest at 10.4%.



  • Inventories increased to 9,774 at the end of March, an 8.4% increase compared to last year and a 17.9% increase over last month’s level.
  • Inventories are 13.2% above the 5-year average but 27.3% below the 10-year average.
  • All property types show an increase over 2015 levels, with townhome inventories up 6.3%, single-family detached up 8.5% and condos up by 9.9%
  • End of March inventories exceed the March 2013 low of 6,289 by 55.4%, but are down 60.7% from the peak of 24,855 seen in March 2008.
  • Washington D.C. had the largest increase in inventory of 21.9%, with 1,268 active listings. 
  • For the January-March year-to-date, only Alexandria City (-0.2%) and Fairfax City (-13.95) show declines in inventory levels; all other areas are up.



  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio for March was 97.1% the same as last year and up from last month’s 96.7%.
  • Over the last decade, the region’s March average sales price to original listing price ratio ranged from a low of 90.4% in 2009 to a high of 97.6% in 2014 and 2013.
  • Homes in Falls Church City sold at 99% of their original listing price in March, the highest in the region and down slightly from the 99.4% seen last year.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Prince George’s County, where the average ratio was 96%, down slightly from the 96.5% seen last year.  



  • The median days-on-market in March was 27 days, a two day increase from the median DOM of March 2015, but down 17 days from last month.
  • DOM are 4.9% below the 5-year average of 25 days and 40.5% below the 10-year average of 42.
  • The lowest March DOM level recorded in the past decade was 15 days in 2013; the highest was 77 days in 2008.
  • This month condos were the fastest selling properties, with a median DOM of 24.  Townhomes had a median DOM of 25, with single-family detached at 31.
  • In Fairfax City, the median DOM of 38 was less than half of what it was last year, but in all other jurisdictions, median DOM rose compared to last year, with the highest percentage increase in Arlington County, where DOM rose from 10 days to 18 days.



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 or 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


dc metro, market analysis, press release
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