The 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government in early October created a drag on the Washington area housing market, causing home sales to plummet, purchase contracts to dwindle and the number of properties for sale to wane.
After seven months of double-digit annual gains, November sales hit the brakes, falling to 3,068. It was the largest drop in more than two years. Sales of homes in the region were down 21.2 percent from the previous month and 13.7 percent from November 2012.
The number of buyers who put down a contract on a home last month also fell. There were 3,854 pending sales in November, a 15 percent decrease from October.
In addition, fewer homeowners put their properties on the market in November. There were only 8,276 active listings at the end of last month, a 10.6 percent decline from the previous month.
Despite sluggish sales and lower inventory last month, the overall health of the market in the D.C. region appears solid heading into the slow holiday season. More homes have sold so far this year (44,938) than in all of 2012 (44,615).
And even though sales were down, median sale price grew year-over-year for November in every jurisdiction except Arlington County. The median sale price for the region was $399,950, an increase of 5.3 percent from the previous month and 8.1 percent from November 2012.
Those homes on the market are continuing to sell quickly, but not as fast as they once did. The median days on market for all property types in the D.C. region was 20 days in November, up from 16 days in October.