February 20, 2018 | Josh Sullivan

The DC Metro experienced its 21st consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory. In addition to inventory, sales volume, sales contracts, and new listing levels all decreased compared to the same time last year. A combination of rising mortgage rates, low supply, and firm asking prices have buyers patiently waiting for the influx in inventory during the upcoming spring market.

Last month was the second-lowest inventory level for the month of January in the past 10 years

Washington, DC
The District’s sales volume remained largely unchanged at 547 closings for the month of January, down just 0.4% from last year. Contrary to the overall metro area, DC also saw a slight dip in median sales price (4.3%) to reach $504,700. Closings within DC followed the typical urban trend of declining detached single-family sales, while townhome and condominium sales improved totaling 547 sales within the District for January.

Arlington County, VA
Arlington County followed suit, with a diminishing sales price combined with a decrease in sales activity. Median sales price dropped 5.7% YoY to $511,500, while sales volume decreased 2.5% across all property types (154). Both detached single-family and townhome sales failed to surpass last year’s levels with a decrease of 8.8% and 16.7%, respectively. More than half of the closings for January stemmed from condominium sales (87) an increase of 4.8% YoY.

Fairfax County, VA
Similar to previous months, Fairfax County has mirrored the overall market trends for the month of January. Its vast geographic area combined with an eclectic housing mix, creates a reliable indicator for the overall market health. Median sales price increased over 2% to $470,000 with a slight decline in closings at 786, across all property types (-1% YoY). Closings distribution echoed Arlington County, as detached and townhome sales activity decreased while condominium closings increased for January.

Though sales volume across the DC Metro was down for January, sellers were still holding firm as median sales price for the region reached a decade-high level of $399,900.  The selling power of the market can also be seen when looking at sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio), which reached 96.9 for January. This is the second highest SP to OLP ratio in the past 10 years for the region, indicating sellers are more and more reluctant to accept lower offers.  The coming months will prove to be extremely competitive amongst buyers scrambling for the loosening spring supply.

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