October 7, 2019 | Josh Sullivan
August was a slow month for the DC Metro Area, more-so than we’ve seen in years past. The region saw a 3.1% decrease in overall sales for the month along with a 6.8% drop in new listings – while sales activity decreased, prices continued to rise to a decade-high of $465,000 for the month. High prices and low inventory deterred buyers, making for a sluggish month.
The District was no outlier for August – closings and price moved in opposition. Median sales price for the city reached $571,000, an increase of 2.1% YoY while overall sales volume dipped almost 6% YoY. Townhome sales were affected the greatest, with 11.4% fewer sales than August 2018. While townhome and condominium sales failed to improve, sales of detached single-families actually increased, but not enough to offset the sales of alternative product-type.
Arlington County, VA
Arlington followed suit, with an astonishing 12.4% increase in median sales price at $635,000 for the month. Though prices rose, the lack of sales volume made for an eerily slow month in Arlington. Typically working in opposition of the greater DMV, Arlington has historically been shielded diminishing trends, but this summer has proved just the opposite – buyers are willing to wait. With sale prices increasing over 100% post-Amazon announcement, the gap between implied demand and supply was inevitable. We expect this market to stabilize over the coming months with a more gradual shift once Amazon and Virginia Tech begin seriously entering the market.
Fairfax County, VA
Fairfax County experienced a more moderate increase in sales price – only 3.8% YoY to reach $529,000. Sales remained almost flat at -.2% YoY with the lack of townhome sales driving the decrease in volume. Both detached homes and condominiums saw improvements from this same time last year, 2.9% and 11.5% respectively.
Based on the lack of sales activity from July spilling over into August, we expect to see a delayed up-tick in September or October for the fall market. The summer is historically slow, and buyers begin to show increased interest post-Labor Day – vacations are coming to a close, kids are back in school and buyers being to refocus. As long as inventory levels are at reasonable levels, we expect a healthy, active fall market moving forward.