Regional home sales, September 2019

This townhome in the Evans Farm community of McLean currently is on the market, listed at $1,585,000 by Laurie Mensing of Long & Foster Real Estate.

The Washington region has now seen 36 consecutive months of year-over-year growth in home values, and last month’s median sales price was the highest ever for a September in the area, according to new figures.

The median sales price of properties that went to closing across Washington and its inner core stood at $431,000 in September, up 2.6 percent from a year before and up more than 30 percent over the past decade, according to data reported Oct. 11 by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

Sales also were up, rising 9.2 percent from a year before to stand at 3,972, while total market volume for the month rose a hearty 15 percent to $2.1 billion.

(Figures represent sales data from the District of Columbia; Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.)

Median sales prices were up in every component jurisdiction of the survey area except Alexandria, which posted a modest decline. Increases were most pronounced in Falls Church (up 21 percent to $735,000) and Arlington (up 12.9 percent to $590,000), while the District of Columbia saw a  near-double-digit rise, up 9.5 percent to $575,000.

The strongest segment of the market in September was the condo component, where median sales prices rose 5.5 percent to $316,000. The single-family sector also saw growth, rising 3.7 percent to a median of $530,000, while the median sales price for townhouses was essentially flat at $425,000.

On the sales front, every jurisdiction posted year-over-year increases except Arlington and Alexandria – but the significant jumps in prices in those jurisdictions suggest the problem in a lack of inventory, not a lack of buyer interest.

(While prices are at an all-time high for September, the total sales remain below the peak of 4,183 transactions reported in September 2016.)

For the month, sales were up nearly 15 percent in the single-family sector, with smaller jumps recorded among townhouses and condos.

The number of homes on the market at the end of the month – 8,437 – was the lowest for any September in the past decade, and less than half the 17,173 reported in September 2010, when the market was still attempting to wriggle free of the recession.

With the exception of the District of Columbia, every jurisdiction in the region reported lower year-over-year inventory from 2018, and in three (Arlington and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church) the decline was more than 50 percent.

Homes that sold in September garnered, on average, 98.4 percent of original listing price, the highest for any September in the past decade. Among various jurisdictions, the rates ranged from 100 percent in Alexandria down to 97.4 percent in Falls Church.

For the year to date, total sales are up a fraction of a percent to 42,221, while median sales prices are up 3.6 percent to $458,000.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision. For information, see the Website at www.brightmlshomes.com.

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