Washington D.C. Metro housing market further tightens; sales and pending sales at decade highs; inventory levels decline for eleventh month in a row

OVERVIEW

  • March 2017’s median sales price of $420,00 was up 5.3% or $21,000 compared to last year.  This is the highest March median sales price on record, with data going back to 1997.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $2.3 billion, up 26.7% from last March.
  • Closed sales of 4,450 were up 18.5% compared to last year.  It was also the highest March level in a decade and easily exceeding the 3,755 sales recorded last March.
  • New contract activity of 6,254 also reached a ten-year March high, increasing by 1.4% over last year.  
  • New listings of 8,210 were down 1.7% compared to last year.
  • Active listings of 8,648 are down 11.5% compared to last year but up 15.3% compared to last month. This is the eleventh consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels, and inventories are at the lowest March level since 2014.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in March was 97.9%, up from last year’s 97.1%, and also up from last month’s 97.4%.
  • The median days-on-market for March 2017 was 15 days, 12 days lower than last year.

 

  • March’s regional median sales price rose to $420,000, the highest March level on record with data going back to 1997, with a 5.3% or $21,000 increase over last year and a 5.1% increase over last month.
  • Single-family detached homes increased 7.8% to $525,000, townhomes rose 3.8% to 415,000, and condos rose 2.0% to $299,900.    
  • March prices are above the 5-year average of $396,280 and the 10-year average of $366,040.
  • The overall regional price of $420,000 is 35.5% above the March 2010 low of $310,000, and 5.0% above the previous March high of $400,000 seen in 2015.
  • Falls Church City is still the most expensive location in the region, with a median sales price of $605,000, down 24.9% from last year.  Prince George’s County remains the most affordable area in the region, with a March median sales price of $268,500, up 14.3% from last year.
  • For the first quarter of 2017, Prince George’s County shows the highest percentage price increases of 14.0%.  Falls Church City shows the largest quarterly decline of -24.1%.

 

  • This month, closed sales of 4,450 set a decade high, were up 18.5% from last year, and were up 43.6% from last month. 
  • All property types saw double-digit increases in sales this month, with single-family detached sales up 20.0% to 2,001, condos up 17.6% to 1,271, and townhome sales up 17.1% to 1,177.
  • Sales were well above both the 5-year average of 3,721 and the 10-year average of 3,492.
  • March’s closed sales were up 62.8% compared to the market low of 2,734 seen in March 2008.
  • All jurisdictions in the region showed increases in March sales except for Falls Church City which declined by two sales or 13.3%.  The largest percentage gain was in Fairfax City, which was up 73.9% compared to last year (although the actual increase was only 17 sales), and the smallest increase was in Alexandria City, where sales rose 4.8% to 218.

 

  • New pending sales of 6,254 were up a slight 1.4% compared to last year, but are still at the highest March level in a decade.  They were up 34.3% compared to last month.
  • Single-family detached new pending sales were down a trivial 0.3% to 2,968, but condos were up 1.1% to 1,672 and townhomes were up 5.2% to 1,613.
  • Pending sales were above both the 5-year average of 5,672 and the 10-year average of 5,189.
  • March 2017’s new pending sales were nearly double the March 2008 low of 3,160.
  • Pending sales activity across the region was mixed, with the largest percentage increase in Falls Church City, which was up from 20 units to 23 (+15%).  The largest decrease in new pending sales was in Prince George’s County, where they were down 5.6% to 1,239.

 

  • The 8,210 new listings in March were down a slight 1.7% from last year but up 47.7% compared to last month. 
  • New condo listings were down 8.1% to 2,055, but both townhomes and single-family detached listings saw slight 0.6% increases, to 1,913 and 4,240 listings, respectively.
  • New listings are well above both the 5-year average of 7,076 and the 10-year average of 7,216. 
  • March new listings are 41.1% above the 10-year low of 5,817 seen in March 2013.
  • Across the D.C. Metro, only Falls Church City (+33.3%) and Fairfax City (+22.6%) saw significant percentage increases in new listings.  All other jurisdictions saw flat or slightly lower new listings compared to last year, with the largest percentage decline of 4.3% in Alexandria City, where they fell by 18 to 398. 

 

  • March active inventories of 8,648 decreased 11.5% compared to last year, but were up 15.3% compared to last month. 
  • All property types showed decreases in inventory levels over last year, with condo inventories down 16.5% to 2,238, townhome inventories down 13.1% to 1,476, and single-family detached inventories down 8.5% to 4,926.
  • Inventories are above the 5-year average of 8,266, but well below the 10-year average of 12,513.
  • March inventory levels exceed the 2013 low of 6,289 by 37.5%, but are down 65.2% from the peak of 24,855 seen in March 2008.
  • Across the region, inventory levels dropped everywhere except Fairfax City (+17.9%).  The largest decline was in Fairfax County, where they dropped 17.5%, followed closely by Montgomery County, where they decreased by 14.8%.

 

  • The regional average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for March was 97.9%, up slightly from last year’s 97.1%, and are also up from last month’s 97.4%.
  • Townhomes have the highest March SP to OLP ratio of 99.0%.  Single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 97.6% and condos have a ratio of 97.5% .
  • March’s SP to OLP ratio exceeds the 5-year average of 97.5% and the 10-year average of 95.3%
  • 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 this March’s high of 97.9%.  The prior highest March level in the last ten years was the 97.6% seen in 2012 and 2013.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Falls Church City, where the average ratio was 96.7%, down from last year’s 99.0%.
  • Washington D.C. had the highest regional SP to OLP ratio, at 98.8%  original listing price, down just slightly from last year’s 98.9%.

 

  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in March was 15 days, down 12 days from last year and down 13 days from last month.
  • Single-family detached homes and condos both had median DOM of 18, while townhomes had a median DOM of 10.
  • March’s median DOM was five days below the 5-year average of 20 days, and was 22 days below the 10-year average of 37 days.
  • This month’s median DOM of 15 matches the March 2013 record low.  The highest DOM of the last 10 years was 77 days in 2008.
  • The highest median DOM in the region in March was in Falls Church City where it was 39 days, up from 7 days last year. 
  • The lowest median DOM is in Fairfax County, where it is 11 days, down from 27 days last year.

By Corey Hart for RBIntel