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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 04/10/2013

Median sale price of homes in Washington, D.C., hits record high

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated D.C.’s record median sale price increase as month over month. It is year over year as was the median sales price for the region.

The median price of a home in the District reached its highest point in history last month, according to the latest data from RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of MRIS.

D.C.’s median sale price soared to $460,000 from $405,000 in March 2012, an increase of 13.6 percent year over year. For the entire metro area, the growth was more modest. The median sale price for the region rose 8 percent, to $372,500 last month from $345,000 in March 2012.

 Falls Church boasted the largest median price in the area last month and the biggest percentage uptick year over year. The median sale price for homes in Falls Church climbed to $631,000 in March, a 37.7 percent increase year over year. However, there were only 16 sales in Falls Church in March, which likely skewed the numbers.

Similarly, Alexandria showed a big jump in median sale price, going from $391,950 in March 2012 to $487,500 last month. This 24.4 percent increase was more realistic than Falls Church because it was based on 186 sales.

March median sales price by jurisdiction

2013 2012 YoY
DC metro $372,500 $345,00 8%
Falls Church $631,000 $458,300 37.7%
Arlington $515,000 $509,450 1.1%
Alexandria $487,500 $391,950 24.4%
District $460,000 $405,000 13.6%
Fairfax County $430,000 $398,500 7.9%
Fairfax City $392,500 $443,750 -11.5%
Montgomery County $375,000 $345,000 8.7%
Pr. George’s County $176,500 $158,000 11.7%

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

While this is good news for sellers, it is not as good for buyers who are combatting not only rising home prices but also depleted inventory. The number of homes for sale in the region continues to hover at historic lows. The 6,289 active listings in March were down 4,200 from the same month a year ago and have dropped nearly 20,000 since their peak in the fall of 2007.

Townhouses are in especially short supply, accounting for only 15.8 percent of the active listings. That’s the lowest percentage for that property type on record, going back to 1997.  

Although new listings have risen the past two months, the increases have been modest. There were 5,817 new listings in March, an increase of 28.1 percent compared to February but 15.8 percent lower than the same month a year ago.

Year to date median sales price by jurisdiction

2013 2012 YoY
DC metro $355,950 $325,000 9.5%
Falls Church $657,500 $480,000 37%
Arlington $490,000 $495,000 -1%
Alexandria $465,000 $396,000 17.4%
District $440,000 $395,000 11.4%
Fairfax County $425,000 $375,000 13.3%
Fairfax City $405,000 $417,000 -2.9%
Montgomery County $359,900 $327,250 10%
Pr. George’s County $169,900 $155,500 9.3%

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

Those properties coming onto the market aren’t staying there long. The median days on market fell to 15 days last month, 26 days fewer than March 2012. It is the shortest days on market for any month since September 2005.  

Condos were the strongest sellers in March, accounting for 1,011 sales. That was the highest total for that month in six years for this area. In contrast, sales of single-family detached homes diminished slightly, down 0.7 percent from March 2012.

Housing trends for the Washington metro area

March 2013 %MoM Feb. 2013 %YoY March 2012
Units sold 3,569 33% 2,684 6.7% 3,345
Median sale price $372,500 4.9% $355,000 8% $345,000
Pending sales 5,377 25.7% 4,277 -5.2% 5,671
Active listings 6,289 3.2% 6,092 -40.1% 10,503
New listings 5,817 28.1% 4,541 -15.8% 6,909
Median DOM 15 24 41
Listing discount 2.4% 2.9% 5.7%
Avg. SP to OLP 97.6% 97.1% 94.3%

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

The cause of the slump in sales of single-family detached homes could be because it led all property segments in median price growth in the region last month, up 12 percent from March 2012 or a gain of $50,000. The median sale price of townhouses showed a year-over-year increase of 10.6 percent last month, an increase of $35,000.  

The average sale-to-list price ration rose to 97.6 percent, the highest ratio for the D.C. area in nearly seven years.

By  |  10:00 AM ET, 04/10/2013

 
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