DC Real Estate Market Update April 2013
DC Metro DOM Lowest in Over Seven Years
The DC Metro housing market continues to pick up steam. Sales and median prices are up from this time last year, and days-on-market (DOM) is at its lowest level in over seven years. The low inventory of homes for sale continues to play a major role in the market. Active listings have dropped by nearly 20,000 since their fall 2007 peak, and the proportion of townhome listings is now the lowest on record. Interestingly, the trend of rising sales and declining new contracts has continued in the region.
DC Metro Market Growth Continues
Median sales price growth remains strong through most of the region. The spring market is up from last year; Double-digit growth for condos and townhomes. There were 3,569 sales in March in the Washington DC Metro Region, 6.7 percent higher than this time last year. Sales jumped by 33.0 percent from last month, but this is in line with seasonal patterns. The condo market continues to post the strongest sales growth of all property segments, up 17.0 percent from last March. There were 1,011 condo sales this month, the highest March total in six years for the region. Townhomes also saw double-digit sales growth, rising 10.4 percent from last year. Single-family detached homes fell slightly, down 0.7 percent from last year, a drop in 11 sales. The lower price points are likely playing a role in the condo sales growth. Condos are attractive to many first-time homebuyers and empty nesters looking to downsize, which continues to fuel the demand.
Low DC Metro Home Inventory Exerts Continued Upward Pressure on Prices
Low inventory continues to push up prices for most of the region; At $372,500, the median sale price in the Washington DC Metro Region is 8.0 percent higher than this time last year, and the highest March median price in five years. The low inventory of active listings continues to put upward pressure on prices around the region. Once again, single-family detached homes led all property segments in median price growth, up 12.0 percent from March 2012, a gain of $50,000. The median sale price for townhomes is up 10.6 percent from last March, an increase of $35,000. The median price for condos rose 3.4 percent, a gain of $9,050. At the jurisdiction level, median price growth continues to be strong. Falls Church City led in terms of the rate of growth up 37.7 percent from last year. The year-to-date median sales price for the region as a whole went from $355,950 to $325,000, a gain of 9.5 percent.
There were 6,289 active listings in the DC Metro Region at the end of March, a drop of over 4,200 listings from last year. The inventory shortage continues to impact all property segments, with active listings down over 40 percent across the board relative to last year. Townhomes continue to have the lowest supply, accounting for only 15.8 percent of all listings in the region, which is the lowest proportion on record with data available back to 1997. The subtle signs of improvement in new listings that occurred last month have faded. There were 5,817 new listings in March, 15.8 percent lower than last March. New listings rose 28.1 percent from last month, but this is well below the 10-year average February-to-March change for the region of +41.1 percent. This could highlight lingering uncertainty with sellers despite the rising sales prices. It could also reflect that many sellers decided to list their properties earlier than typical seasonal patterns. The low inventory continues to drive down the median days on market, which at 15 days is 26 days lower than March 2012, and is the lowest of any month since September 2005. The average sale-to-list price ratio continues to climb, up to 97.6 percent, the highest ratio for the DC Metro Region in nearly seven years.
DC Median Price Highest on Record
The median sales price in the District of Columbia rose 13.6 percent to $460,000, which represents the highest median price on record for the city. Alexandria City also posted strong median price growth, rising 24.4 percent from March 2012.
DC New Listings Down 20+% From March 2012
Though new pending and closed sales continue to increase with prices, inventory is actually down more than 20% from this time last year. We wonder why more sellers are not taking advantage of this favorable selling market.
Statistics and data by RBI (Real Estate Business Intelligence).
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