Pending contracts and sales growth continues to hit double-digit percent gains; Prices remain near record highs

Rockville, MD – (August 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 July 2015 MRIS housing data.


The Washington, D.C. Metro housing market enjoyed another strong month in July, with both closed and pending sales at their highest July levels in a decade.  Median sales prices continue to rise very slowly, and median days-on-market remain very low.  Closed sales of 5,225 represents a 15.1% increase from July 2014, although they are down 7.6% from June 2015.  New contracts increased by 9.4% from July 2014 to 5,221, although they did drop 9.3% compared to last month. All market segments experienced year-over-year increases in both closed sales and new contracts.  The year-over-year overall median sales prices rose 1.1% to $432,500, which nearly matches the previous July high of $435,000 seen in 2007.  The median sales price for single-family detached rose 2.8% to $550,000, while townhome prices dropped 1.9% to $410,000 and condos decreased 3.3% to $290,000.

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Overall inventories increased by 12.2% to 12,564 total active listings compared to July 2014, with the number of condos increasing by the largest percentage at 22.9% to 3,216, townhome listings increasing by 11.1% to 2,379 and single-family detached listings increasing by 8.2% to 6,956.  The 6,814 new listings are 8.5% higher than July 2014 and are at the highest level since July 2008.  Median days-on-market (DOM), while still low, rose by two days to 19 days, up from 15 days last month.


Best July in a decade, all segments exhibit year-over-year growth for fifth consecutive month.  The 5,225 closed sales marked a 15.1% gain compared to last year, the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year increases.   This was the highest level of July sales in a decade, and exceeded the 5-year average of 4,569 and the 10-year average of 4,495.  For the period January through July, the number of closed sales of 29,651 is up 10.2% compared to last year, and all jurisdictions in the region continue to show increases in the number of sales compared to last year.

All market segments showed growth in closed sales year-over-year for the fifth consecutive month.  Townhome sales led the way with a 19.9% increase to 1,409 sales, while single-family detached sales increased by 15.4% to 2,505, and condo sales were up 9.9% to 1,310.  As would be expected for this time of the year, overall sales compared to last month are down by 427 units or 7.6%, with single-family detached experiencing an 11% decrease, condos showing a 6.8% decrease and townhomes experiencing a 1.4% decrease.


Highest number of July pending sales in over a decade, pending sales increase across all property types. With 5,221 pending sales, the number of new contracts increased 9.4% from July of 2014, making this the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year increases, and for the last six months all market segments demonstrated year-over-year increases. July contracts exceeded both the 5-year average of 4,828 and the 10-year average of 4,387, and are at the highest July level in at least a decade.  Townhomes showed the largest year-over-year increase at 10.7% to 1,344 pending sales, followed by single-family detached with a 10.3% increase to 2,539 pending sales, and condos with a 6.6% increase to 1,338 pending sales.  There was a decrease in pending sales of 9.3% compared to last month, with all market segments showing comparable decreases of around 9-10% compared to last month.


Median sales prices remain high, but are rising very slowly.  The July median sales price of $432,500 represents a $4,500 or 1.1% increase over July 2014, and is very close to the previous July high-water mark of $435,000 seen in 2007.  While single-family detached prices rose 2.8% to $550,000, townhome median sales prices were down 1.9% to $410,000, and condo prices decreased by 3.3% to $290,000.  Sales volume across the region was nearly $2.8 billion, up 17.6% compared to July 2014.  Single-family detached prices held steady from last month, but prices for townhomes and condos were down 1.2% and 7.2% respectively. The year-to-date median sales price of $417,500 is up 1.8% from last year.


DCMetro - July Median Sales Price

Across the region, all jurisdictions saw increases in the number of sales except Falls Church City, while price changes were mixed.  Falls Church City saw a 4.9% decline in median sales price to $729,888 with 23 sales compared to 24 last year.  Alexandria City had a $41,000 decline in median sales price to $489,000 on a 1.3% increase in the number of sales to 233.   In Montgomery County, the median sales price dropped $9,100 to $419,900 on a 19.4% increase in the number of sales over last year to 1,264.




Arlington County saw a 10.6% median sales price increase to $625,000 on 321 sales, a 16.7% increase over last year.  Washington D.C. experienced a 3.8% increase in median sales price to $550,000 on 821 sales, up 8.5% compared to last year.  The median sales price in Fairfax City increased by $57,500 to $500,000 with an increase of 18 sales to 48.  In Fairfax County, median sales prices rose $16,927 to $491,827 on 1,697 sales, a 21.7% increase compared to last year.  The median sales price in Prince George’s County increased $13,000 to $238,000, while the number of sales were up 6.4% to 818.


Inventories up for 22nd consecutive month, new listings at highest July level in seven years, DOM rise but remain very low.  There were 12,564 active listings at the end of July, which is a 12.2% increase from last year, making this the 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year increases.  Condo inventory growth continues to lead, with a 22.9% increase in the number of active condo listings to 3,216.  The number of townhome listings is up 11.1% to 2,379 and single-family detached listings are up 8.2% to 6,956.  Inventory levels exceed the 5-year average of 11,350, but are still significantly below the 10-year average of 16,207.  The largest number of active listings remain in Fairfax County with 4,443 properties listed, up a significant 18.6% over last year, followed by Montgomery County with 3,449, which is up 12.3% over the number of active listings at this time last year. The remaining jurisdictions had relatively small changes in inventories or low volume.

The number of new listings for July is 6,814, an 8.5% increase or 532 more than last year.  New listings for condos increased by the largest percentage of 13.9% to 1,779, followed by townhomes with a 9.1% increase to 1,756 and single-family detached up by 5.5% to 3,278.


At 19 days, the median days-on-market (DOM) increased by two days year-over-year and four days from last month.  Median days-on-market remains lower than the 5-year July average of 21 days and well below the 10-year average of 30 days.  Townhomes continue to be the fastest sellers, with a median DOM of 13 days, while condos have a median DOM of 20 and single-family detached have a median DOM of 21.  Properties in Montgomery, Fairfax and Prince George’s Counties and Alexandria City all have a median DOM more than 19, while Fairfax City, Arlington County, Washington DC and Falls Church City all have a median DOM less than 19.  Homes sold fastest in Falls Church and the District, with median DOM levels of 10 and 11 days, respectively.

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