December 18, 2018 | Josh Sullivan
The DC Metro Area reached a decade-high milestone for November, posting a median sale price of $449,900 across the region, a 5.9% increase over this time last year. With prices peaking throughout the Metro Area, and rising interesting rate, buyers were weary and closed sales were down over 11% YoY.
Sale prices within the District rose over 9%, posting a median price of $600,000 for November. Similar to the Metro Area, DC experienced a significant decline in closed sales with 18% fewer than this time last year. Declining sales were evident amongst all property types with townhome and condominium closings being effected the most, with a decrease of 19.1% each YoY.
Arlington County, VA
As we’ve seen in the past, Arlington County tends to be a bit of an outlier compared to rest of the region. Sales activity mirrored that of the Metro Are, while change in pricing did not. Arlington saw a decline in median sales price, down 1.7% YoY dipping to $565,000 for the month. Even with declining sale prices, buyers were not chomping at the bit to get homes under contract, evidenced by the drastic 21.7% drop in sales. Closings within each property type declined over 20% YoY, with townhomes taking the brunt of neglect with 37.9% fewer sales.
Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County stuck to its usual behavior, mimicking trends of the entire DC Metro Area. Its vast geographic area provides a large sample size, able to combat potential outliers more effectively than smaller jurisdictions. Median sales price rose over 3% to reach $499,975, while sales decreased 4.1% to 1,068 for November. Closing declines among property types were fairly consistent, with the largest change being only a 6.3% decrease YoY among detached single-family homes.
The Fall and early Winter market has been slow for the DC Metro Area, with record-low inventory levels and record-setting prices and interest rates not seen in years. Though all three play a role in hindering buyer activity, low inventory levels are the main culprit. Consumers are educating themselves online more than ever before and can often even tour the property without ever leaving their house. This access to information has given them the confidence to wait out the lull in supply and avoid a potential bidding war for something they’re compromising for. We expect the Spring market to bring out buyers with a healthy appetite and alleviate the pent-up demand we are experiencing within in the DC Metro.