May 17, 2017 | Josh Sullivan
The DC metro achieved a 10-year high for median sales price in April, reaching $436,500 across all property types. Though sale prices rose and inventory declined for the 12th straight month, the actual number of sales dropped slightly throughout the region.
Washington DC posted a $519,000 median sales price for the month of April, decreasing just 1% YoY. This slight drop may indicate that the seller’s market in DC has peaked and buyers have reached their threshold. The next few months will be able to provide some validation if this trend continues. Though the sales price remained almost unchanged, the number of closings within the District dropped considerably to 690 compared to 771 last April. Detached single-family residences experienced the sharpest decline of 20.2% YoY, reaching 83 sales. Townhome and condo sales dipped slightly as well, posting 33 and 120 closings respectively.
Arlington County, VA
Arlington saw a dramatic increase in median sales price of 12.7% YoY, reaching $620,000 for the county. Following the same trend as DC, closings decreased while sales price increased. Arlington saw 250 closed sales for April, down 3.1% YoY. Single-family residences along with condo sales declined slightly to 97 and 120 closings respectively. Though overall sales were down, townhome sales increased a staggering 64% from last April. The increase in townhome sales can be attributed to new construction throughout Arlington, with three large townhome communities delivering this year.
Fairfax County, VA
Median sales price for Fairfax reached $505,000 for April, up 5.4% YoY. Unlike DC and Arlington, closed sales in Fairfax County increased .2% YoY with 1,451 closings. The majority of the sales can be attributed to single-family residences, accounting for 744. Townhome sales remained consistent, improving only .5% from last April with 416 closings. Condo sales in Fairfax County regressed to 291, down 5.5% YoY.
Steadily increasing sale prices, while inventory declines has been the status quo for the DC metro in recent months. This trend has continued through April, but the total number of sales tells a different story. This is only the third time that sales levels have declined YoY since 2014. This could mean one of two things, either buyers are more hesitant, or the inventory is so low that it is offsetting the buyer demand. For the DC metro, it is the latter. Competition is still fierce between buyers, thus driving up sale prices, but there are so few active listings that overall closings are declining. There were 9,552 active listings for April, which was a 14% decrease from last April when 11,113 listings were on the market. As peak buying season is upon us, it is up to sellers and developers to address the excess demand within the DC metro.