February 27, 2020 | Josh Sullivan

January’s market performance exceeded expectations this year with a decade-high record in sales price and an 8% YoY increase in overall sales. Historically, January has been plagued with minimal listings and sluggish buyers still regrouping from the holidays. This year was a bit different, with a surge in inventory to a level January hasn’t seen in over 9 years. Buyers were quick to take notice and pushed median sale price for the month up to $444,000 amongst 2,964 closed transactions. An unexpected breath of fresh air prior to the spring market.

January 2020 set a record for new listing inventory through the region

Washington, DC
Market activity within the District was very similar to that of the greater DC Metro-Area, with both sales and price improving over last year. 568 homes sold in January, increasing over 10% YoY, with townhomes experiencing the greatest growth rate of 19.1%. New townhomes such as our project, Portrait Square in Brookland, and other rowhome renovations throughout the city are alleviating pent-up demand for that product in the city. Buyers remained competitive and were able to push median sales price to $550,000 for the month, increasing 2.3% YoY.

Arlington County, VA
Arlington maintained its typical trend of performing as the inverse for the overall market, with both sales price and closed homes dropping considerably from this same time last year. Only 146 transactions occurred in January, over an 11% decrease YoY, with detached homes experiencing the brunt of it. Home sales amongst detached homes in Arlington were 38.6% less than last year, largely due to the lack of new construction and overall limited inventory – 17.8% lower YoY. Buyers continue to wait for the surge in inventory to reach Arlington County and catchup with the rest of the region.

Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County split the difference between Arlington and DC’s market activity – with sales price rising and overall sales dropping. Sales activity by product-type was a bit of a mixed bag, with detached homes and condominiums each decreasing over 7% YoY, while townhome sales increased 7.7% YoY. 770 total homes sold in January, dipping just slightly compared to last year (3.8%). Though there were fewer sales than 2019, competition was fierce and pushed the overall median sales price 5.2% higher to reach $515,375 for the month, signifying a highly competitive market for buyers.

Arlington proved to be a bit of an anomaly for the market, with the remaining region performing strongly and outpacing projections. Rumors of a looming recession have had little to no effect on buyer’s activity for 2020. Though February’s data has yet to be released, such strong performance this early in the year portends good things for the impending spring market.

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