February DC Metro Real Estate Market Data: DC Metro Prices Rise, Condos Rule
Low inventory continues to put upward pressure on median sales prices throughout the DC Metro region.
February DC Metro Real Estate Market Data OVERVIEW
Price growth continues throughout the Washington DC Metro Region, driven by low inventory, which is also elevating average sale-to-list price ratio, now at its highest level since the summer of 2006.
While active listings remain at historic lows, new listings are beginning to show signs of what could be a changing pattern. New listings are up over 13% across all property segments in the region compared to January 2013, well above the 10-year average change for each segment. This could be an indication that sellers are beginning to respond to the pent-up demand in the market.
Sales are at their highest level for any February since 2007. Condos led all property segments in sales growth and now account for the highest proportion of the region’s sales in over five years.
Despite the continued sales growth, new contracts are down compared to last year for the third time in four months region-wide, which is being driven by a drop in single-family detached contracts.
February DC Metro Real Estate Market Data CLOSED SALES
There were 2,684 sales in February in the region, 7.1% higher than February 2012, and the highest February total in six years.
The condo market led all property segments in sales growth, up 14.7% from this time last year. Condos accounted for 29.1% of all sales in the DC Metro Region, the highest proportion since January 2008. This reflects demographic trends in the buyer market with steady demand from first-time homebuyers and empty nesters looking to downsize into smaller units. Condos also tend to have lower price-points.
Sales of single-family detached properties and townhomes rose 5.3 and 2.4 percent respectively from February 2012.
February DC Metro Real Estate Market Data PRICES
Fifth consecutive month of double-digit price growth for the region, median prices rise in all jurisdictions. At $355,000, the median sale price in the Washington DC Metro Region is 11.7% higher than this time last year, the fifth consecutive double-digit gain.
Single-family detached homes led all property segments in median price growth, up 19.5% from February 2012, a $72,000 gain in price. The median sale price for condos rose 12.8% from last year, a gain of $30,000. The median townhome sales price is up 8.4% from February 2012, an increase of $27,000. All jurisdictions in the region experienced median sales price growth from this time last year, led by Falls Church City at 31.3% growth and Fairfax County up 15.9%. The year-to-date median sales price for the region went from $312,000 to $347,000, a gain of 11.2%.
February DC Metro Real Estate Market Data NEW CONTRACTS
New contracts drop from last year, driven by declines in single-family detached and townhome contacts. There were 4,277 new contracts in February in the DC Metro Region, down 5.0% from this time last year, the sharpest year-over-year drop in nearly two years. New contract activity rose 9.2% from last month, but this is in line with seasonal patterns. The decline in new contracts was driven by single-family detached properties and townhomes, which dropped 10.15% and 7.0% respectively from February 2012. New contracts for these two property segments have been steadily declining since the fall, and are likely the result of a combination of low inventory, and demand in the market for lower price-points. Condos were the only property segment to post year-over-year growth in new contracts, rising 7.8% from this time last year.
February DC Metro Real Estate Market Data INVENTORY
Inventory remains historically low, but new listings show signs of improvement across all property segments. There were 6,092 active listings in the DC Metro Region at the end of February, a drop of over 3,700 listings from the previous year. The inventory shortage continues to impact all property segments, with active listings down around 40% across the board relative to last year. Townhomes have the lowest supply, and account for only 16.5 percent of all listings in the metro area. There were 4,541 new listings entered in February, down 5.3% from February 2012. However, there was an influx of over 500 new listings from last month, a 13.4% increase, which is well above the 10-year average January-to-February increase of 2.9%. The jump in new listings can be seen in all property segments, with increases across all types 13% or more from last month. This could be an early indication of a changing inventory pattern, and seller response to the ripe market. Despite the jump in new listings, overall inventory remains very low, and continues to drive down the median days on market relative to last year, which at 24 days is 29 days lower than February 2012.
The average sale-to-list price ratio continues to climb, up to 97.1%, the highest ratio for the DC Metro Region since June 2006.
*Statistical information from RBI (Real Estate Business Intelligence)