March 5, 2019 | Josh Sullivan
Market activity within the DC Metro remained consistent in January, carrying over trends seen towards the end of 2018. We saw median sales price increase 5% YoY to reach $420,000, combined with closings for the region declining 7.7% YoY to total 2,745 sales. While the region performed as expected, sub-markets within the Metro experienced a slightly different January than years past.
The story did not change for the District during the month of January, mirroring that of the greater Metro area. Median sales price rose 6.5% YoY to reach $537,500, while in tandem, sales fell over 6% YoY dropping to 513 closings. There was no glaring gap in the market where the decline in sales could be attributed, as all property types experienced a consistent decrease in sales.
Arlington County, VA
Unlike the District and overall Metro, Arlington County saw both median sale price and closings improve during the month of January. Median sales price for the region jumped an incredible 20.2% YoY, reaching $615,000 while 165 homes sold, an improvement of over 7% YoY. Undoubtedly, the recent announcement of Amazon’s HQ2 in late 2018 is beginning to show its first signs of effecting the market. Internally, we noticed an influx of over 200% of our typical lead volume from buyers motivated by the Amazon announcement in November. It is reasonable to assume that the same influx in leads/inquiries correlates to purchases two months later. We believe the dramatic increase in price and sales were results of a one-time spike after the announcement and expect these figures to continue rising for Arlington County, but at a much more gradual pace going forward.
Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County closed out the month of January with both median sales price and home sales improving YoY, challenging the recent trend of a negative correlation between sales price and closings. Median sales for the County reached $489,950 last month, increasing 4.2% YoY, while home sales also increased 1.6% YoY, totaling 799 closings. The increase in home sales can be attributed to a surge in detached single-family home activity within the County, accounting to 50% of all sales, improving 11.3% over last January. Townhome and condominium sales accounted for 26% and 24%, respectively, while failing to surpass last year’s sales figures.
Though the region-wide trend continues; prices rising while sales fall, there are certain metrics that point to a potential shift in the market. Previously, a stark lack of inventory has been driving this trend, creating a stale-mate between buyers and sellers. Buyers have been waiting for a surge in inventory, and that may be exactly what is happening. During the month of January, both new listings added to the market and active inventory improved, 4.9% YoY and 2.7% YoY, respectively. We expect this shift to continue as we approach the Spring, loosening tension within the market.