August 16, 2018 | Josh Sullivan
The mid-summer market remained relatively consistent through July in the DC Metro area. The region’s median sales price continues to bolster previous records, while inventory continues to dissipate. Over 9,600 homes were actively listed last month, marking a 6.4% decrease from last year while July was also the 27th consecutive month of declines YoY. The combination of increasing sale prices and the regions sales volume improving 1% YoY while inventory persistently declines, proves that demand from buyers continues at highly competitive levels.
DC proper’s activity for July mirrored the activity of last year almost perfectly, with minor changes in both closings and sales price. The District posted a median sales price of $569,500, a mere .1% decrease YoY while 850 properties sold, a 1.3% improvement YoY. Nearly half of all closings for July were condominium sales, accounting for 416 total units and a 5% improvement over last year. Townhome sales improved slightly, while detached-home sales continued to decline. This is not a new trend for the District, as the scarcity of vacant parcels and teardowns continues to be a challenge for one-off homes, while the opportunity for infill and vertical construction allows for increased density.
Arlington County, VA
Arlington achieved a median sales price of over $600,000 for the month of July, improving 7.1% YoY. Similarly to the region overall, Arlington County’s total sales volume remained largely unchanged, dipping only .1% to 294 sales. Those sales numbers would have been considerably lower if it weren’t for the surge in townhomes sales within the county – 36 townhomes sold, a whopping 44% increase compared to this time last year. The remainder of closings were made up of 106 detached-homes and 152 condominiums.
Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County had a similar story, with increasing sales price and minimal change within sales volume. The county posted a median sales price of $528,000 for the month of July, a 5.6% increase YoY. Sales volume within Fairfax County did drop, but only slightly, at (4%) YoY. The most significant decrease within property types was attributed to condominiums, achieving only 90% of last year’s sales volume. Detached-homes and townhomes decreased as well, 1.1% and 4.2%, respectively.
July and the summer market overall has proven to remain strong on the demand side, evident through increasing closing prices and continual bidding wars. Industry experts were concerned that rising interest rates would have an impact on buyer demand, suggesting that homebuyers would hold out for lower rates. While this is a reasonable conclusion given the number of buyers who still fear a repeat of 2008, we have seen no evidence of that fear affecting the market. We expect interest rates to level off, with minimal disruption to buyer demand going forward.