D.C. region home sales, August 2019

This home in the 900 block of Peacock Station Road in McLean currently is on the market, listed at $1,998,000 by Laurie Mensing of Long & Foster Real Estate.

Year-over-year existing-home sales across the Washington inner core were back in negative territory in August after a month of higher sales in July, but median sales prices kept on increasing, according to new data.

A total of 4,907 properties went to closing across the Washington region last month, a decrease of 3.1 percent from a year before, according to sales data reported Sept. 11 by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS. 

Figures represent sales 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.

August’s home sales were lower than those of July, but that is the norm in the regional home-sales market. Compared to a year before, sales in August were up 3.1 percent in the single-family sector but down 5.5 percent among condominiums and off 11.5 percent in the townhouse sector.

Year-over-year sales were down in every jurisdiction except the city of Fairfax (up 13.9 percent) and Montgomery County (up 0.4 percent), with declines ranging from slight (down 0.2 percent in Fairfax County) to significant (down 27.3 percent in Falls Church).

Despite softness in sales, “the D.C. metro area remains hot,” said Chris Finnegan, vice president at Bright MLS.

Sales declines appear to be due, in part, to the continuing dearth of inventory, which was down 20 percent to 7,743 active listings – the lowest August level in a decade.

For the first eight months of the year, completed home sales in the region totaled about 38,000, down 0.4 percent from the same period in 2018.

The median sales price of $465,000 across the region in August was down from June and July but up 5.1 percent from a year before and stood as the highest August price of the decade. The median sales price for single-family homes increased 4.2 percent to $585,000, with the median price for townhomes up 3.5 percent to $440,000 and the median price for condos up 3.7 percent to $311,000.

All jurisdictions saw increases in median sales prices except Falls Church, which was down 14.8 percent to $741,288.

The decline in sales coupled with higher prices led to an essentially flat sales volume for the month across the region, at $2.75 billion.

Sellers whose homes went to closing in August garnered an average 98.6 percent of original listing price, the highest rate for that month in a decade. Alexandria saw an average sales price of 100.7 percent of listing price, while Arlington was not far behind at 99.9 percent.

(For the year to date, the ratio of sales price to listing price across the region is 98.8 percent, up slightly from 98.5 percent last year.)

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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