The Washington Post

Median home price hits record highs in Arlington, the District

Arlington County joined the District last month in posting a record high for the median price of a home, according to the latest data from RealEstate Business Intelligence.

The District’s median sale price of a home jumped to $470,000 in April, a $10,000 increase from the previous month and a 4.7 percent increase year over year. It was the second month in a row the city set a new median sale price high.

Arlington’s median sale price soared to $560,000 last month, a $45,000 increase from the previous month and a 2 percent increase year over year. Arlington’s previous high was $550,000 set in June 2012.

For the entire metro area, the growth in median sale price was strong. It rose 7.7 percent to $400,000 last month from $371,000 in April 2012. Prince William, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties showed the biggest gains year over year. In Prince William County, the median sale price climbed 22.1 percent year over year, rising to $317,450 last month from $260,000 in April 2012.

In Montgomery County, the median sale price grew 10.3 percent year over year, rising to $402,550 last month from $365,000 in April 2012. In Prince George’s County, the median sale price rose 10.1 percent year over year, rising to $185,000 last month from $168,000 in April 2012.

Only Falls Church City showed a year over year decline in median sale price, falling 5 percent year over year to $589,000 last month from $620,000 in April 2012.

[Note: RBI does not include Loudoun or Prince William counties in its D.C. metro area chart. The median sale price for Loudoun in April 2013 was $409,000. In April 2012, it was $374,000, a 9.4 percent increase year over year.]

Rising home prices seem to be drawing more sellers into the market. Although the number of homes for sale remains far below historical norms, the 7,238 new listings that came on the market in April were close to the five-year average for that month and a nearly 25 percent increase over March. Still, the 7,123 active listings last month were nearly a third fewer than April 2012 and nearly half the five-year average for April.

A lack of inventory and an increased demand fueled by low interest rates has led to properties getting snapped up quickly. The median days on market last month in the region was just 11, the lowest of any month since the peak of the housing boom in 2005.

In this market, buyers don’t appear to have much negotiating power and are being forced to pay close to list price. The average sale to list price ratio in April was 98.2 percent, the highest for any month since April 2006.

Buyers don’t seem to be discouraged, however, as sales were the strongest for an April in three years. There were 4,233 homes sold last month, which was 12.3 percent higher than April 2012. Condos, which tend to be more affordable than other property types, continued to post the biggest growth in sales, rising 24.8 percent year over year. Sales of townhouses increased 12.4 percent year over year, while single-family detached home sales were up 6.3 percent.


Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.
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