October 15, 2019 | Josh Sullivan
September was an active month for the DC Metro Area, with both buyers and sellers experiencing success throughout multiple jurisdictions. The overall region set a new September record for median sales price, reaching $431,000. Although prices rose for the 36th consecutive month in the Metro Area, buyers were undeterred, closing 3,972 sales for the month – an improvement of almost 10% YoY.
September was a difficult month for sellers within the District. Median sales price was able to improve almost 10% to $575,000 for the month, but home sales did not follow-suit. Closed sales in DC proper increased a mere 1% YoY, despite having the most significant growth in new listings and total market inventory. Buyers are continuing to balk at high prices and are seemingly waiting for better values.
Arlington County, VA
Similarly to the District, the Arlington market has been at a bit of a stalemate between buyers and sellers. Median sales price for the county reached $590,000, growing almost 13% compared to last September. Continual buzz from Amazon HQ2 and a tight inventory has created a pricing frenzy for sellers, encouraging price hikes. The only problem is that buyers aren’t as convinced of the value – despite minimal supply in one the most highly-sought after sub-markets, sales were down 8.7% for the month. Condominium and townhome activity accounted for the majority of declining sales, with decreases of 12.4% and 36.4% respectively.
Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County’s market, as expected, mimicked that of the greater Metro’s, with both sales price and closings improving. 1,169 homes were sold last month with a median price of $500,000 – sales activity among detached SFRs and condominium units each grew over 20% YoY. The demand for housing continues to grow throughout the county and was most evident this September with 17% more closings than in 2018, despite having 31.4% fewer listings within the market.
Unlike years past, the Fall market has been unpredictable for the DC Metro Area, with few consistent trends among sub-markets. DC and Arlington have catered to buyers, creating no sense of urgency despite inventory levels, while the suburbs have remained somewhat in balance. Rumors of a lingering recession and political unrest are almost certainly at play here, creating a lack of consumer confidence, especially in sub-markets such as DC and Arlington where these factors are typically exacerbated. October will be the last chance to create some buzz before November hits, signaling the start of winter and the holidays.