March 25, 2019 | Josh Sullivan
Much to the chagrin of regional buyers, the influx of inventory for the spring market has yet to be felt within the DC Metro Area. February was a continuation of region-wide trends with rising prices and declining inventory. Median sales price for the region improved 4.1% over last year, reaching a decade-high level of $427,000. While record prices were achieved, sales volume declined over 5% YoY for February. Other inventory metrics, such as pending listings, new listings and active listings were all down from this same time last year.
DC proper saw a decrease in buying activity during the month of February, but those who did purchase, continued to push prices beyond that of the rest of the region. With 15% fewer sales than last year, the District reached $589,000 for median sales price in February, a figure we expect to continue to rise through the spring market. We still anticipate a surge in inventory for DC, but at a slower rate.
Arlington County, VA
Typically, we see Arlington County as an outlier from the rest of the market, but February was a bit different. The Arlington market behaved almost identically to that of the greater DC Metro Area, with prices rising and sales falling. Metro-wide median sales price increased 4.1%YoY, while Arlington’s median sales price increased 6.1% YoY to $565,000. Sales in the Metro Area declined 5.7% YoY while sales within Arlington decreased 6.3% YoY. Like the rest of the region, Arlington appears to be in a holding pattern, continuing to wait for an alleviating influx of inventory.
Fairfax County, VA
Prices remained largely unchanged in Fairfax County during February, improving a mere 0.5% YoY to reach $492,500. While prices remained flat, inventory fell, and sales rose; a counter-intuitive trend not seen anywhere else in the Metro Area. Inventory for the County dropped over 11% from this time last year, while in contrast, 1.7% more sales occurred. We saw February as an outlier month for Fairfax County, and do not expect these figures to continue trending the way they are.
The past few months have been anything but typical in the DC Metro Area, including a government shutdown, Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, uncertainty of construction tariffs, and rollercoaster mortgage rates, just to name a few. Each of these has played a role in recent market activity; some causing excitement, while others cause concern. We do not see these trends continuing to be as volatile going forward, but rather serve as an unorthodox beginning to a strong spring market.