DC Metro Market Update March 2016

by Dan Lesniak

house-purchase-1019764_640March was a month of growth for real estate sales in the Washington DC Metro region, good news for those living life along the Orange Line. Sales were at their highest since 2010, while new listings increased by 20% and inventory overall went up by 8.4%. This combination of factors makes for a strong market that is in demand. Listed below is a summary of the latest market data released for the region.

Sales for the region increased by 1.9% compared to a year ago, up to almost $1.8 billion. This is a 32.3% increase from the month prior. Closed sales continued their 16-month consecutive increase, with 3,755 closed sales for March, 2.5% more than last year. There were also 6,165 new contracts begun in March, 11% more than in March 2015. Median prices in the region saw a small decrease from $400,000 last year down to $399,000, a 0.3% decrease. This small difference reflects an overall steady pace of pricing for the region. Falls Church, VA reported the highest median prices for the month, at $806,000, while Prince George County remains the most affordable with a median price of $234,900. Arlington County median prices put it just below Falls Church, coming in second highest for March with a median price of $542,000. When reviewing the differences and comparing year over year pricing, Falls Church is seeing a large rise in home values as more affluent buyers are moving in. The median price in Arlington County keeps us in the mid range of affordability.

The residential housing inventory has seen some positive growth as well, providing buyers with more options to choose from in the Washington Metro DC region. Compared to a year ago, March saw an additional 8,352 listings for the month, a 20% increase over March 2015. The number of listings grew by a significant 61.5% in a month to month comparison. While this is a big difference, the growth in listings is in line with seasonal market fluctuations for the region. Looking at new listings data over a longer period of time, we are still on the plus side, with March new listings being 22.5% higher than the 5-year average, and 14% above the 10-year average. In reviewing types of residential sales, single-family homes saw only a slight decrease in the number of sales, just 0.5% less than March 2015. Townhomes saw an increase of 4.1% in number sales, and condos a 6.1% rise.

March2016 Chart

Average to original listing price ratios for the Washington DC Metro area remained the same when comparing year over year data, at 97.1%, which is higher than February’s ratio of 96.7%. This ratio shows how close our average sale prices are to original list prices. For Arlington County specifically, there was a slight drop in the ratio from 98.7% in March 2015, down to 98.0% this year. Being so close to the listing prices indicates that homes are being priced where they should be, good news for both buyers and sellers. When list prices are in line with the market, there are not wide swings in average sale prices, lending more stability to the market overall.

Days on the Market (DOM) show another indication of a stronger market for the region. Comparing month to month data, homes moved, on average, 17 days faster in March than in February. Condos saw the quickest turnarounds for the month, with a median DOM of 24 days, while townhomes had a DOM of 25 days, and single-family homes with a 31 day on market median. Within Arlington County specifically, the median DOM is lower than the average for the region, reporting at just 18 days for March. It should be noted that this is a large change of 80% comparing year over year data, but the overall shorter time frame reflects the demand for homes in this part of the region.

When you are ready to buy or sell your home, myself and the Orange Line Living team are here to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your dreams into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653 or at [email protected]


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