October 15, 2018 | Josh Sullivan
Sales across the DC Metro took a dive in September, with both price appreciation and inventory affecting market activity. Closed sales were down 10% YoY region-wide – the most significant change in sale activity since May 2014. This pattern is displayed in almost every jurisdiction with the Metro Area except for Alexandria which saw an increase of over 10%.
Sales price within the District reached $525,000 for the month, up 4.8% YoY. Similarly, to the Metro Area overall, while price rose, sales dropped. 588 homes sold in DC during September – 3.8% fewer than last year. Although sales failed to improve, DC proper experienced the least amount of change among all jurisdictions within the region. Townhome and condominium sales remained largely unchanged while detached home sales took the brunt of the dwindling demand, decreasing over 15% from last year.
Arlington County, VA
The Arlington sub-market seemed to be affected the most severely during the month of September. While most jurisdictions saw price appreciate and closed sales drop, Arlington closed out the month with both metrics falling. Median sales price for the County decreased 5% to $515,000 along with closings falling over 12% YoY. Like DC proper, sales among detached homes suffered the most in Arlington with 20% fewer closings.
Fairfax County, VA
Historically, Fairfax County’s market activity tends to mirror that of the Metro Area overall, and September is no exception. Median sales price for the County rose 5.4% YoY to $485,000 – a decade-high level for the month of September. Fairfax experienced the third most significant drop in sales throughout the region, with closings down almost 14% for the month.
The DC Metro Area has increasingly been showing us signs of a market shift – fewer sales, lower inventory, and rising interest rates in recent months points to the possibility of the ever-elusive buyer’s market approaching. The number of closings wasn’t the only metric that fell during September, with pending sales, new listings and active listings all at lower levels than this time last year as well. Given the typical sales volume levels for the region, we expect a backlog of pent-up demand will flood the market once inventory makes a resurgence. The numbers point to a buyer’s market, but winter inventory will be the determining factor.