February 16, 2017 | Josh Sullivan
January 2017 is setting the tone for a strong seller’s market with a restricted supply and a record number of closings, pending sales and median sales price. These figures are at levels not seen for over a decade.
The median sales price for DC reached $527,500 for the month of January, increasing 4.6% YoY. In addition to an increasing sales price, DC experienced a 21.1% increase YoY in closings, totaling 545 across all property types. The majority of the closings were derived from condo/coops sales reaching 253, up 16.6% YoY. Detached single-family residences along with townhouse sales also increased 25% and 25.5% YoY respectively. The continuation of restrained supply while de mand steadily increases is creating a seller’s paradise, exemplified by the increasing sales price and number of closings.
Arlington County, VA
Arlington County experienced a slight decrease in median sales price for January, reaching $542,500. Although median sales price decreased, the number of closings for Arlington County rose 9.7% YoY totaling 158 sales. The growth of closings can be attributed to condo/coop property types, with 83 sales increasing 25.8% YoY. Detached single-family residences and townhouse closings regressed slightly, with a 3.4% and 5.3% decrease YoY. The spike in condo/coop sales is due to multiple condo developments delivering, while other projects have begun presales for the new year.
Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County posted a median sales price of $460,000 for January, increasing 3.6% YoY. Contributing to the sales price were the 794 closings for the month of January, up 6.9% from last year. A significant portion of the closings came from Alexandria, VA where sales increased a staggering 30.7% YoY. Due to the size of Fairfax County and the combination of rural and suburban communities, it comes as no surprise that detached single-family residences accounted for 394 of the closings, rising 12.6% from last January. Townhouses increased 3.3% to 217 closings, while condo/coop sales remained unchanged at 183.
January has proven to be a competitive month within the real estate market, contrary to common belief that things begin to taper off as a new year begins. The highly competitive demand for housing in the DC metro area continues to drive up sale prices, while inventories continue to drop. January marked the ninth consecutive month in which inventories declined YoY. Although new listings increased 47% between December 2016 and January 2017, the number of active listings for January reached its lowest level in three years. All of these factors are contributing to buyer frustrations within the market. Industry experts believe 2017 is poised to produce a buyer’s market, but given these trends that will likely not be the case for the DC metro.