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The 2021 real-estate market across the D.C. inner core picked up where 2020 left off – featuring strong sales and increasing home prices.

A total of 3,534 properties went to closing across the region in January, and while that figure was down by a third from a month before, it still represented an increase of 19.2 percent from January 2020.

Meanwhile, the median sales price of $487,900 reported across the region was up 9.9 percent from a year before and up a dizzying 57 percent from January 2012, according to figures reported Feb. 11 by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

(Figures represent market activity in 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.)

“January kicked off 2021 with the same buyer enthusiasm we saw in the second half of 2020,” said Brian Donnellan, president and CEO at Bright MLS, citing as one reason for the frenzy an ongoing dearth of inventory – 4,600 active listings across the region at the end of January compared to 5,835 a year before, even as more homeowners put their properties on the market to test things out.

With the exception of Arlington (up 6.9 percent) and the District of Columbia (9.5 percent), year-over-year home sales were up by double digits in all reporting areas, including a 30.9-percent increase in Fairfax County and a 21.7-percent jump in Montgomery County.

Median sales prices, which usually drop 5 percent between December and January, were off just a fraction of a percent this time out. In Fairfax County, the median sales price of single-family homes ($772,500) was up $102,500 from just a year before, led by a boost of $270,000 for single-family homes in the Vienna area (up to a record $1.06 million).

Homes that sold across the Washington region in January spent a rocket-like (for this time of year) median of just 11 days on the market between listing and ratified sales contract. That’s down 15 days from the 26 reported a year before – an all-time record drop.

Arlington and the District of Columbia, however, had significantly higher median days on the market, at 27 and 21 days, respectively.

Homes that went to closing in January typically garnered 100 percent of listing price, up from 98.8 percent a year before. The median sales price per square foot for the month, $284, was up 9.2 percent from $260 a year before.

Looking ahead, the market does not seem in any rush to cool down.

Pending home sales, which usually translate to completed transactions month or two down the road, were up 11.6 percent in January from a year ago across the region, led by a 20-percent year-over-year-bump in new pending sales being reported for the month.

That increase in pending sales was led in the townhouse and condo sector; Arlington, for instance saw nearly 65-percent growth in pending sales in the attached-home market, up 120 percent in the Clarendon area.

In normal years, closed sales across the region in February tend to rise about 5 percent from January, although the ongoing inventory shortage could limit monthly gains, Bright MLS analysts said.

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[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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