September 12, 2018 | Josh Sullivan

The DC metro area reached yet another decade-high record for median sales price during the month of August. Median sales price for the region grew 2.9% from last August, reaching $442,500 for the metro area. Buyers have not shied away from higher prices, as sales volume for the region edged up 4% YoY to $2.8 billion for August.

With the exceptions of Fairfax and Alexandria City, all jurisdictions saw improvements in median sales price for August.

Washington, DC
DC proper’s growth in sales price mirrored that of the greater metro area’s exactly, with a 2.8% improvement YoY. Median sales price reached $560,000 for August, with 839 transactions across all property types. Condominium sales led the way for the District with 407 sales – an increase of 5.2% from this time last year. Sales activity among townhome product dipped a slight 6.3% YoY to 298 closings last month. Detached single-family homes accounted for the remaining 134 sales in DC, an improvement of 3.1% YoY.

Arlington County, VA
Sales price throughout Arlington County rose 3.7% for the month of August to reach $565,000. A total of 288 sales transactions occurred throughout the county, with townhome sales almost doubling from last August. Thirty-one townhomes sold last month with an astounding growth rate of 72.2% YoY. Detached single-family homes and condominiums also surpassed their previous sales levels with 104 and 153 closings, respectively.

Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County experienced similar growth to that of Arlington and DC proper within achieved sales price. Median sales price reached $509,500 for August exceeding last year’s median of $505,000. Fairfax County experienced a similar surge in townhome sales as Arlington County, though at a more gradual growth rate of almost 20%. There were 1,460 total closings throughout the month of August with detached single-family homes accounting for 701 transactions. Recently condominium sales have been steadily decreasing among greater Fairfax County and August was no exception, with a 5.1% decline YoY.

Last month we were concerned that interest rates may be affecting demand throughout the DC metro area. With the steadily increasing sales price and volume for the region, it would seem as though the region is still a sellers’ market. Conversely, both new pending sales and the number of closings decreased 4.4% and 0.2% YoY, respectively – indicating a drop in demand. Additionally, though overall inventory continued to decline for the 28th consecutive month, 6,071 new listings were added in August, the highest level seen in over a decade. The seemingly contradicting trends within the market could be interpreted as a shift towards a Fall buyers’ market, but more likely, an anomaly that we will see return to the historically strong seller’s market throughout the region.

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