Presidential elections typically cause a lull in the Washington area housing market in the late summer and early fall as buyers wait for clarity around what will happen the next four years before making such a large purchase.

That hasn’t been the case this year as home buying continues at a brisk pace despite the coming change in administrations.

Home sales in the region climbed to their highest level for August since 2006, the height of the housing boom. The 5,089 homes sold last month were 12.7 percent higher compared with August 2015, according to data provided by ShowingTime RBI based on listing activity from MRIS, the area’s multiple listing service.

AD

Except for July when they dipped, home sales have been robust throughout the year. The number of homes sold in the region has reached heights not seen in a decade.

AD

Each of the property types saw increases in sales in August. Townhouse sales jumped 17.8 percent, condo sales grew 11.2 percent, and single-family detached sales rose 10.8 percent.

Pending sales – homes that were under contract but the deal had not closed – reached 4,907 last month, up 4.1 percent compared with August 2015. The increase in homes under contract is one sign that this year’s strong sales should continue at least one more month.

The median price of a home sold in the area appreciated to $420,750 last month, a 2.4 percent increase from August 2015. For this region, that’s the biggest annual jump in housing prices for a month since September and the highest price for the month of August since 2007.

Sales of single-family detached homes drove prices higher. The median price of a single-family home in the area climbed to $529,000 last month, up 5.8 percent from August 2015. The median price of a townhouse was essentially flat at $403,750, ticking up 0.9 percent. The median price of a condo dropped to $292,000, a 3.4 percent decrease.

AD

Of course, prices weren’t higher across the region. Every jurisdiction is different. In some areas, prices were flat or went down.

AD

Falls Church City had the highest median price in the area at $799,000 last month, a 40.2 percent increase from August 2015. Because of its low number of sales, Falls Church City tends to have some of the more volatile price changes in the area.

The District saw significant prices gains in August. The median price of a home sold in the District rose to $575,250 last month, a 10.6 percent increase from August 2015. Manassas City (Va.) and Frederick County (Md.) also had big jumps in their median prices. Manassas City’s median price grew to $324,900, an increase of 12.4 percent. Frederick County’s median price climbed to 7.9 percent.

Prince William County’s median price grew to $339,900, a 6.2 percent increase. Prince George’s County median price rose to $257,250, a 5 percent increase. Montgomery County’s median price climbed to $418,000, a 4.5 percent increase. Manassas Park’s median price was $290,000, a 3.6 percent increase.

Fairfax County and Fairfax City had more modest increases. Fairfax County’s median price rose to $486,500, a 2.1 percent increase. Fairfax City’s median price was $496,200, a 1.5 percent increase.

AD
AD

Loudoun County’s median price was $442,469, a 2.9 percent increase. Charles County’s median price was $259,450, a 2.1 percent increase.

A few jurisdictions experienced declines in median prices. Alexandria had the biggest drop. Its median price sank to $400,000, a 16 percent decrease. Howard County’s median price fell to $400,000, a 1.9 percent decrease. Anne Arundel County’s median price fell to $314,000, a 0.3 percent decrease. Arlington County’s median price dropped to $540,000, a 0.7 percent decrease.

With fewer homes coming on the market, inventory continues to be tight. The 5,500 new listings last month were 5.1 percent fewer than August 2015. The number of homes for sale last month sank to 10,305, down 16.4 percent from August 2015.

Half the homes listed in the Washington area sold in just over three weeks. The median days on market last month was 22 days, down three days from August 2015. Homes sold fastest in Falls Church City, where half the homes there were under contract in six days or less. Homes lingered on the market in Alexandria, where half the homes there took at least 27 days to go under contract.

AD
AD