Modest DC area sales gains in October, but year-to-date sales now up 9.5 percent versus 2014

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Corey Hart
10

Nov

2015

New pending sales increase 7.8% in October; Inventories up for 25th consecutive month though rate of growth continues to decline

Rockville, MD – (November 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 October 2015 MRIS housing data.

OVERVIEW

The Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market continued to see increases in closed and pending sales in October, with pending contracts at the best levels in a decade.  Median sales prices were comparable to both last year and last month.  Inventories continue to grow, driven by the highest October level of new listings since 2007, but at a continually slowing rate. 

There were 3,871 closed sales in October, up 2.3% compared to last year and down 6.0% compared to last month.  New contracts of 4,794 were at the highest October level in at least a decade, up 7.8% compared to last year and 0.3% compared to last month.  The overall median sales price of $399,000 dipped an insignificant $1,000 or 0.3% compared to both last month and last year.  Condos saw median prices rise 0.5% to $305,000, while single-family detached fell 1.6% to $472,500 and townhomes declined 0.2% to $397,250.  Compared to last month, condos were up 3.4%, while single-family detached were down 3.1% and townhomes were down 0.7%.

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With 12,676 active listings at the end of October, inventories increased for the 25th consecutive month.  Condos had the largest year-over-year increase of 12.8% in the number of listings, increasing to 3,247.  The number of townhome listings rose 6.3% to 2,533 and the number of single-family detached listings increased 3.5% to 6,882.  The number of new listings in October rose 5.9% to 6,164, the highest October level since 2007, with condos showing the largest increase at 9.2%, followed by single-family detached which were up 5.7% and townhomes which were up 3.2%.  Median days-on-market (DOM) increased to 27, which is three days more than last year and the same as last month.

CLOSED SALES

Eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year increases in overall sales, exceeds 5 and 10 year averages.  There were 3,871 closed sales in October, a 2.3% increase compared to last year, making this the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.  Closed sales exceeded the 5-year average of 3,526 and the 10-year average of 3,511.  Year-to-date there have been 42,616 closed sales across the region, which is up 9.5% compared to last year, and all jurisdictions show increases in the number of sales compared to last year.   

All market segments except condos showed increases in the number of closed sales year-over-year.  Single-family detached and townhome sales were both up 4.6% compared to last year, with 1,802 and 1,024 sales respectively.  Condo sales were down 3.3% compared to last year to 1,044. 

NEW CONTRACTS

New October contracts are at best level in at least a decade, up year-over-year and month-over-month.  There were 4,794 new pending sales entered in October, a 7.8% increase compared to last year and a 0.3% increase over last month.  This marks a full year of consecutive year-over-year increases, and the ninth consecutive month that all market segments have demonstrated year-over-year increases.  New contracts are at the highest October level in at least a decade and exceeded the five-year average of 4,490 and the ten-year average of 4,010. 

Townhomes again had the largest year-over-year increase with 1,325 pending sales, a 14.6% increase, followed by single-family detached with a 6.4% increase to 2,252 pending sales, and condos with a 3.8% increase to 1,216 pending sales.  Compared to last month, townhome contracts were up 4.3%, while condos were down 1.1% and single-family detached were down 1.2%.  Across the region year-to-date, all jurisdictions show increases in the number of new contracts except Falls Church City, which is down 1.7%. 

PRICES

Median sales prices down slightly, but second best October prices since 2006. The October median sales price of $399,000 is down an insignificant $1,000 or 0.3% compared to both October 2014 and September 2015.   Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $372,305 and the 10-year average of $366,188.  Compared to October 2014, condo prices increased 0.5% to $305,000, single-family detached prices dipped 1.6% to $472,500, and townhome prices decreased 0.2% to $397,250.  The year-to-date median sales price of $412,500 is up 1.6% from last year.  October sales volume across the region was slightly below $1.9 billion, up 1.7% compared to last year. 

Across the region, median sales prices and number of sales were mixed.   Falls Church City continues to have the highest median sales price of $665,000, which was an 8.1% increase over last year, although the number of sales fell from 14 to 10 compared to last year.  Arlington County saw prices increase 1.7% to $545,000 on 203 sales, which was an 8.1% decrease from last year.  In Washington D.C., prices increased 2.8% to $514,000 on 644 sales, down 13.3% over last year. 

In Fairfax City, the median sales price rose 5.7% to $500,000, with sales increasing from 28 to 35 compared to last October.  In Alexandria City, median sales prices dipped 0.5% to $495,000 with a 7.6% decline in the number of sales to 170.  Fairfax County saw a slight 0.2% drop in median sales price to $449,000, with an 8.5% increase in the number of sales to 1,106.  Montgomery County prices increased by 0.4% to $389,000, on 935 sales, a 5.3% increase compared to last year.  In Prince George’s County, the median sales price increased 2.1% to $240,000 on 768 sales, an 11.8% increase over last year.  Prince George’s has seen the highest annual appreciation in year-to-date prices, gaining 6.8%, or $15,000, compare to the first ten months of 2014.

INVENTORIES

Inventories up for 25th consecutive month, new listings are at highest October level since 2007, DOM increase slightly.  With 12,676 active listings at the end of October, a 6.4% increase over last year, this marks the 25th consecutive month of increases in the year-over-year number of active listings.  After rising to a peak year-over-year increase of 34.6% in August 2014, inventory growth has steadily declined to the current level.  Condo inventory growth remains strongest, with a 12.8% increase in the number of active listings to 3,247.  The number of townhome listings is up 6.3% to 2,533 and single-family detached listings are up 3.5% to 6,882.  Inventory levels exceed the 5-year average of 11,314, but are still significantly below the 10-year average of 15,840.  Compared to last month, inventories are down 2.2%.   

New listings of 6,164 represent a 5.9% increase over last year and are up year-over-year for the 11th consecutive month.  Compared to last year, new listings for condos increased 9.2% to 1,701, followed by single-family detached which were up 5.7% to 2,938 and townhomes which were up 3.2% to 1,523.  Compared to last month, the overall number of new listings are down by 718 or 10.4%.  The number of new listings exceeds both the 5-year average of 5,361 and the 10-year average of 5,951.  The number of new listings for the period January-October of 66,458 is up by 5,218 or 8.5% compared to the same period last year. 

Median days-on-market (DOM) are 27, which is up three days from last year and the same as last month.  Median days-on-market equal the 5-year October average of 27 days but are well below the 10-year average of 38 days.  Townhomes continue to have the lowest median DOM of 20 days, while condos have a median DOM of 26 and single-family detached have a median DOM of 34.  Closed sales in Washington D.C. have the lowest median DOM of 11 (down from 12 days last year), while those in Fairfax City are the highest at 42 days, up from last year’s 37, but on very small volume of 35 units.

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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

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