October 12, 2017 | Josh Sullivan

September’s market activity should be viewed as a slight speed bump as opposed to a shift in direction. Overall sales volume declined 3.4% YoY while inventory fell for the 17th consecutive month in a row. Although overall inventory is steadily declining, we saw the largest proportion of new listings added for September in over a decade.

Washington, DC experienced the largest decline in sales volume with almost 14% fewer closings.

Washington, DC
Similarly to August, the District was the only region within the Metro area to report a drop in median sales price for the month of September. Sale prices dipped over 6% compared to this time last year, reaching $501,000. Along with diminishing sale prices, sales volume throughout the District struggled as well, dropping nearly 14% YoY. Though all property types experienced a decrease in sales activity, detached single-family residence closings declined nearly 20% YoY. Townhome and condo sales fell 6.9% and 16.4%, respectively. While September proved to be a difficult month for the DC market, this is not indicative of a market-wide slow down.

Arlington County, VA
Arlington was one of the few jurisdictions throughout the DC Metro to have more market activity than this same time last year. Both median sales price and sales volume improved YoY, while inventory levels remained largely unchanged. Arlington’s sale price rose 3%, reaching $527,500 for the month of September while closings climbed almost 9%. Sales of detached single-family residences improved considerably with over 30% more closings last month. Townhome closings fluctuated slightly, decreasing 8.7%, while condo sales grew a mere 1.5%.

Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County’s activity for September is more in line with what the overall market has been experiencing as of late. Median sales price for the county remained unchanged, reaching $460,000 last month. While price levels plateaued for September, overall sales volume dropped almost 5% YoY. Both detached single-family residence and townhome sales suffered, decreasing 8% across both property types. Condo sales showed a slight uptick in activity, improving 8.1% YoY, but 267 closings were not enough to outweigh the decrease in detached residences and townhome sales.

While the past few months have cooled down compared to the proceeding, record-setting months, this is not a trend that is likely to continue. Inventory continues to decline while median sales price for the region continues to climb. The slight dip in demand is an anomaly, and we expect buyer’s confidence to ramp back up in coming months, returning to typical market levels.

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