The Washington Post

Washington D.C. area housing market improved in 2013

(Matthew Staver/Bloomberg)

The D.C. metro area housing market made solid gains in 2013, according to a report released Friday.

Data provided by RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of Rockville-based multiple listing service MRIS, showed that the median sales price, the number of homes sold and the number of homes for sale were all up compared to a year ago and that the slowdown in the housing market as a result of the federal government’s partial shutdown in October was just a speed bump on the road to recovery.

Although the median sales price for the metro region fell for the fifth time in the last six months, it was nearly 10 percent higher last month than in December 2012. Since tying its record high of $440,000 in June, the median sales price for the D.C. area has fallen nearly $50,000 to $391,362. Still, last month’s median sales price was more than $30,000 higher than December 2012 and the highest December-level in six years.

The median sales price for the D.C. region in 2013 was $399,900, a 9.6 percent gain from 2012.

(RealEstate Business Intelligence)

Every jurisdiction saw its median sales price increase compared to 2012. Prince George’s County made the biggest leap, rising to $197,000 in 2013 from $170,000 in 2012, a nearly 16 percent increase. Falls Church City, the District, Prince William and Frederick also experienced double-digit increases.

(RealEstate Business Intelligence)

The number of homes sold in the region climbed 9.3 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. After the government shutdown put the brakes on home sales in November, they rebounded last month. There were 3,644 homes sold in December, nearly 19 percent higher than the previous month.

Rising prices encouraged more people to put a home up for sale in 2013 than the previous year. There were 64,618 homes listed for sale last year, an increase of more than 9 percent from 2012. Last month also saw an increase in the number of active listings compared to December 2012, the third consecutive month they increased year-over-year. The 2,565 new listings in December were driven mostly by an increase in condos coming onto the market. The number of condos for sale grew by nearly 16 percent.

Home sellers in Falls Church didn’t have to wait long to sell their home in 2013, while those in Frederick had to have a lot more patience. The median days on market for a home in Falls Church was 10; in Frederick, it was 26. Half the homes sold in the D.C. metro area were on the market for 15 days or less.

(RealEstate Business Intelligence)
(RealEstate Business Intelligence)

Low inventory – the number of homes listed for sale is down nearly 75 percent from the September 2007 peak – led to a seller’s market in the D.C. region last year. The average sales-to-original-list-price ratio rose 2.2 points to its highest annual level since 2005. The District led the region at 98.8 percent, while Prince George’s County had the biggest jump, rising to 97.6 percent last year from 93.1 percent in 2012.

(RealEstate Business Intelligence)
(RealEstate Business Intelligence)


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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