Each spring, we provide readers with a look back at how the Washington region’s housing market performed in the previous year and give them a sense of where it is headed in the coming year. This year, it is much easier to show what happened than to explain what’s ahead.

Even though the housing market in the Washington region did not start off strong in 2019, it finished that way. But any momentum it gained has been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

The housing market was hurt early by the longest government shutdown in history, which lasted until late January. Mortgage rates threatened to rise to 5 percent. A scarcity of homes for sale pushed prices higher. Rising mortgage rates and prices hurt affordability.

As the year wore on, conditions improved. The biggest factor was mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed-rate average started the year at 4.5 percent, fell below 4 percent in May and sank to 3.5 percent in September, according to Freddie Mac’s survey of lenders. Earlier this month, the 30-year fixed rate hit a new low of 3.29 percent. It has since gone back up.

“The D.C. regional housing market continues to see robust demand that is only tempered by low inventories near our major employment centers and prices that keep many would-be homeowners on the sidelines,” wrote Terry L. Clower, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, in an email. “Mortgage interest rates are very supportive, but we simply don’t have enough product to offer, other than high-end condos that are coming to market.”

Clower says the impact of the coronavirus will depend on how long the region is shut down.

“If the contagion cycle can be brought under control inside of 60 to 90 days, I think we will pretty quickly get back on track,” he wrote. “If the virus takes longer to contain, and/or triggers a broader recession in the national economy, then housing market activity will slow. However, this is not the [Great Recession]. Housing prices in the region have been growing on average, but at a comparably modest pace. There should not be a collapse of housing prices.”

District of Columbia

The median price of a single-family house increased to $660,000 in 2019 from $626,500 in 2018. The median price of a condo increased to $462,000 in 2019 from $460,000 in 2018. Sales of single-family houses decreased to 3,439 in 2019 from 4,030 in 2018. Sales of condos decreased to 5,202 in 2019 from 5,205 in 2018.

Zip Location 2018 price 2019 price 2018 sales 2018 sales
20001 Howard University, Shaw $800,000 $808,700 205 225
20002 Capitol Hill $685,000 $699,000 638 659
20003 Capitol Hill South $845,000 $850,000 293 265
20007 Georgetown, Burleith $1,250,000 $1,330,000 309 298
20008 Woodley Park, Cleveland Park $1,500,000 $1,550,000 149 126
20009 Dupont Circle $1,050,000 $1,050,000 98 105
20010 Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant $756,750 $775,000 168 182
20011 16th Street Heights, Crestwood $605,000 $635,250 766 787
20012 Colonial Village, Takoma $731,000 $725,000 144 179
20015 Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase $1,056,702 $1,100,000 175 214
20016 Cathedral Heights, AU Park $1,200,000 $1,275,000 282 279
20017 Brookland, Catholic University $560,000 $585,000 247 293
20018 Brentwood, Fort Lincoln $550,000 $585,255 310 336
20019 Benning Heights, Deanwood $305,000 $335,000 718 665
20020 Anacostia, Hillcrest $351,431 $369,000 379 348
20024 Southwest Waterfront $855,000 $785,000 17 19
20032 Congress Heights $312,500 $335,000 286 199
20037 West End, Foggy Bottom $859,000 $846,500 17 13
Source: Black Knight

The District again enjoyed the largest median price gain in single-family houses in the region last year, according to data provided by Black Knight, a national real estate analytics company. Prices improved to $660,000 in 2019 from $626,500 in 2018. Median price is not the same as average price. The median price represents the midpoint, meaning half the houses were sold for more than that price and half sold for less.

D.C. condo prices ticked up to $462,000 in 2019 from $460,000 in 2018. Condo prices are separated from single-family house prices to provide a more accurate picture of the market. Condos tend to be less expensive than houses and can drag down the median price.

“Housing prices in the District of Columbia continue to rise and the gains are spreading to areas of the city that are not traditional hot spots,” Clower wrote. “There are new amenity-rich offerings coming online, if you have relatively high incomes. Gentrification is still happening, even with efforts at preserving affordable housing units for District residents. Local housing policies continue to be a major challenge as leaders seek to balance opportunities for growth against displacement of long-time, lower-income residents. As Amazon begins to really ramp up HQ2 hiring, the District’s newer high-amenity properties will be the biggest gainers.”

Arlington County

The median price of a single-family house increased to $905,000 in 2019 from $841,820 in 2018. The median price of a condo increased to $430,000 in 2019 from $425,000 in 2018. Sales of single-family houses decreased to 1,244 in 2019 from 1,323 in 2018. Sales of condos decreased to 1,718 in 2019 from 2,061 in 2018.

Zip Location 2018 price 2019 price 2018 sales 2019 sales
22201 Ashton Heights, Clarendon $1,125,000 $1,150,000 139 130
22202 Aurora Hills, Crystal City $825,000 $910,000 87 57
22203 Ballston $780,000 $815,000 77 64
22204 South Arlington $645,000 $630,000 263 235
22205 Westover $858,000 $895,000 214 210
22206 Shirlington $450,000 $537,755 41 37
22207 North Arlington $960,000 $1,085,000 455 466
22213 Arlington $800,000 $900,000 43 44
Source: Black Knight

Alexandria

The median price of a single-family house increased to $760,000 in 2019 from $730,750 in 2018. The median price of a condo increased to $350,000 in 2019 from $335,000 in 2018. Sales of single-family houses decreased to 844 in 2019 from 1,025 in 2018. Sales of condos decreased to 1,657 in 2019 from 1,899 in 2018.

Zip Location 2018 price 2019 price 2018 sales 2019 sales
22301 Del Ray, Rosemont $794,900 $865,000 181 158
22302 Braddock Heights $788,000 $839,500 123 103
22304 Landmark, Cameron Station $618,000 $625,000 224 183
22305 Beverly Hills, Warwick $624,900 $652,000 140 113
22311 Stonegate $640,000 $635,000 39 35
22312 Pinecrest, Overlook $490,000 $510,000 22 11
22314 Old Town $835,000 $838,000 296 241
Source: Black Knight

Virginia had the next-greatest increase in single-family house prices, climbing to $595,000 in 2019 from $579,950 in 2018. Virginia condo prices increased to $376,500 in 2019 from $369,000 in 2018.

“Northern Virginia just keeps on chugging,” Clower wrote. “Prices rise, but affordability is a constraint on price growth. Arlington and Alexandria are exploding. [There is] a growing volume of political discourse [and] a variety of approaches for expanding housing opportunities for more families, but there simply is not enough inventory to meet demand for workers who do not wish to spend large chunks of their personal time sitting in a car or public transit conveyance. The same challenge, at slightly lower intensity, applies to the first outer-ring suburbs in Northern Virginia.”

Montgomery County

The median price of a single-family house increased to $579,500 in 2019 from $575,000 in 2018. The median price of a condo increased to $309,900 in 2019 from $306,000 in 2018. Sales of single-family houses increased to 7,235 in 2019 from 7,192 in 2018. Sales of condos decreased to 5,647 in 2019 from 6,203 in 2018.

Zip Location 2018 price 2019 price 2018 sales 2018 sales
20814 Bethesda $950,000 $923,000 207 211
20815 Chevy Chase $1,175,000 $1,110,000 241 290
20816 Bethesda $1,010,000 $1,050,000 185 189
20817 Bethesda $920,000 $945,000 451 497
20818 Cabin John $1,075,000 $880,000 23 19
20832 Olney $555,000 $565,000 187 202
20833 Brookeville $600,000 $640,000 121 102
20837 Poolesville $580,000 $524,000 89 87
20841 Boyds $620,000 $670,000 90 87
20850 Rockville $650,000 $675,000 216 237
20851 Rockville $375,000 $399,999 140 165
20852 Rockville $705,000 $580,000 171 173
20853 Rockville $468,000 $472,000 340 345
20854 Potomac $907,000 $925,000 535 562
20855 Derwood $508,000 $525,000 131 135
20866 Burtonsville $557,590 $490,000 119 90
20871 Clarksburg $610,330 $575,600 299 170
20872 Damascus $393,000 $400,000 118 124
20874 Germantown $528,000 $520,000 194 171
20876 Germantown $530,000 $500,000 142 147
20877 Gaithersburg $420,000 $425,000 119 114
20878 Gaithersburg, North Potomac $668,000 $673,000 391 355
20879 Gaithersburg $425,000 $437,500 146 112
20882 Gaithersburg $580,000 $592,500 161 177
20886 Montgomery Village $449,000 $441,000 110 106
20895 Kensington $625,000 $640,000 262 316
20896 Garrett Park $695,000 $758,000 15 13
20901 Silver Spring $475,000 $474,900 356 343
20902 Silver Spring $420,000 $429,900 383 384
20903 Silver Spring $400,000 $424,900 81 77
20904 Silver Spring $450,000 $469,990 279 273
20905 Silver Spring $485,000 $500,000 200 181
20906 SIlver Spring $415,000 $415,000 349 383
20910 Silver Spring $610.000 $610,000 205 242
20912 Takoma Park $555,000 $595,000 132 154
Source: Black Knight

Maryland single-family house prices modestly rose to $398,000 in 2019 from $392,000 in 2018. Maryland condo prices slipped to $280,000 in 2019 from $282,800 in 2018.

“Even with some challenges in job growth in 2019, the Maryland suburbs continued to see gains in house prices and this will continue through 2020, absent major impacts of the spread of [the coronavirus],” Clower wrote. “The challenge for Montgomery County remains finding ways to get new inventory that is not top-of-market in price. Prince George’s County is still the best value for homeowners in the region with continuing improvement in amenities and services to go along with comparatively affordable prices.”

The District had five Zip codes where the median price of a single-family house was above $1 million in 2019: 20007 (Burleith, Foxhall Crescent, Georgetown, Massachusetts Avenue Heights, Glover Park) at $1.3 million; 20008 (Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Van Ness, Kalorama) at $1.6 million; 20009 (Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Kalorama, Lanier Heights) at $1.1 million; 20015 (Barnaby Woods, Chevy Chase) at $1.1 million; and 20016 (AU Park, Cathedral Heights, Friendship Heights, Wesley Heights, Tenleytown, Spring Valley and Palisades) at $1.3 million. More than a quarter of the homes sold in the District last year — nearly 22 percent of the single-family houses and 5 percent of the condos — were for more than $1 million.

Virginia had five Zip codes where the median price of a single-family house was above $1 million in 2019: 22201 (Clarendon, Ballston, Lyon Village, Lyon Park) at $1.2 million; 22207 (Cherrydale, Crescent Hills, Woodmont, North Arlington) at $1.1 million; 22066 (Great Falls area) at $1 million; 22101 (McLean) at $1.2 million; and 22102 (McLean) at $1.2 million.

Maryland had two Zip codes where the median price of a single-family house was above $1 million in 2019: 20815 (Chevy Chase area) at $1.1 million and 20816 (Bethesda area) at $1.1 million.

“One thing we seem to sometimes forget in talking about this region is the wide range of lifestyle options our housing market supports,” Clower wrote. “There are commuting and price trade-offs, but we have: ultra-hip urban; transit-focused live-work-play; traditional single-family suburbs; quaint towns with centuries of history; semi-rural; and everything in between. I think we should be doing more to emphasize the breadth of options that we can offer new and existing residents, while still working to address overall housing affordability and availability.”

Prince George's County

The median price of a single-family house increased to $329,900 in 2019 from $310,000 in 2018. The median price of a condo increased to $250,000 in 2019 from $240,000 in 2018. Sales of single-family houses decreased to 8,272 in 2019 from 8,994 in 2018. Sales of condos decreased to 4,413 in 2019 from 5,121 in 2018.

Zip Location 2018 price 2019 price 2018 sales 2019 sales
20607 Accokeek $384,000 $375,000 291 183
20613 Brandywine $360000 $363,000 294 233
20623 Cheltenham $315,187 $350,000 45 30
20705 Beltsville $364,000 $360,000 231 218
20706 Lanham $300,000 $320,000 417 354
20707 Laurel $349,500 $355,000 192 237
20708 Laurel $365,000 $379,000 132 125
20710 Bladensburg $270,000 $289000 32 30
20712 Mount Rainier $365,000 $368,750 56 69
20715 Bowie $335,000 $350,000 453 410
20716 Bowie $342,500 $350,000 229 209
20720 Bowie $448,875 $460,000 385 303
20721 Bowie $420,000 $450,000 274 237
20722 Brentwood $255,000 $303,250 86 74
20735 Clinton $299,000 $316,000 570 582
20737 Riverdale $278,100 $300,000 164 133
20740 College Park $320000 $355,000 261 257
20743 Capitol Heights, Fairmont Heights $207000 $232,000 623 565
20744 Fort Washington $310000 $325,000 743 750
20745 Oxon Hill $235000 $275,000 204 186
20746 Suitland $240000 $268,000 207 165
20747 District Heights $239950 $250,000 311 318
20748 Temple Hills $269000 $285,000 373 367
20769 Glenn Dale $389995 $400,000 85 98
20770 Greenbelt $392000 $385,000 27 35
20772 Upper Marlboro $360000 $360,000 704 640
20774 Upper Marlboro $370000 $400,000 611 496
20781 Hyattsville $300000 $340,000 130 95
20782 Hyattsville $380000 $365,000 167 175
20783 Hyattsville $330000 $350,000 190 224
20784 Hyattsville $270000 $290,000 271 250
20785 Hyattsville $285000 $311,000 213 195
20912 Takoma Park $319000 $352500 12 14
Source: Black Knight

Sales were down across the region, with the exception of single-family house sales in Virginia. The fewer transactions were due in large part to the dearth of homes for sale. The slight uptick in Virginia sales is likely attributable to Amazon’s announcement that it would be locating its second headquarters there.

“The surge in housing market speculation in Arlington and Alexandria in the months after the HQ2 announcement have subsided some, but these jurisdictions remain the tightest in the region for inventory,” Clower wrote. “So far, it appears, anecdotally, that D.C. is winning the battle for ‘cool’ places to live, if you are going to be an HQ2 employee. Amazon housing market effects will likely shift towards the [suburbs] over time, but for the next couple of years D.C., Arlington and Alexandria will see the biggest impacts.”

Sales of single-family houses in the District was essentially flat, slipping to 5,202 in 2019 from 5,205 in 2018. Condo sales fell to 3,439 from 4,030.

Maryland single-family house sales dropped to 31,847 from 33,460. Maryland condo sales fell to 19,174 from 21,424.

Virginia single-family house sales ticked up to 24,408 from 24,387. Virginia condo sales slid to 21,254 from 22,309.

“Our inventories remain highly constrained,” Clower wrote. “No matter how attractive mortgages rates become, realtors can’t sell what is not on the market.”

Fairfax County

The median price of a single-family house increased to $675,000 in 2019 from $650,000 in 2018. The median price of a condo increased to $395,000 in 2019 from $379,900 in 2018. Sales of single-family houses increased to 9,263 in 2019 from 8,633 in 2018. Sales of condos were flat, decreasing slightly to 8,737 in 2019 from 8,744 in 2018.

Zip Location 2018 price 2019 price 2018 sales 2018 sales
20120 Centreville $599,000 $625,000 303 291
20121 Centreville $596,000 $615,000 64 81
20124 Centreville $715,000 $725,000 163 188
20151 Chantilly $605,000 $600,000 183 177
20170 Herndon $525,000 $545,000 305 365
20171 Herndon $675,000 $675,000 322 347
20190 Reston $695,000 $649,900 23 15
20191 Reston $650,000 $665000 161 181
20194 Reston $785,000 $795,000 97 89
22003 Annandale $619,900 $625000 476 470
22015 Burke $615,000 $645,000 321 321
22027 Vienna, Dunn Loring $950,000 $965,000 16 21
22030 Fairfax $745,000 $750,380 224 216
22031 Fairfax $749,000 $775,323 137 173
22032 Fairfax $616,100 $626,650 317 317
22033 Fairfax $607,500 $640000 195 205
22039 Fairfax Station $779,900 $80,7500 260 264
22041 Falls Church $650,000 $694,000 73 111
22042 Falls Church $560,000 $570,000 320 343
22043 Falls Church $719,900 $760,000 194 217
22044 Falls Church $675,000 $720,000 81 75
22046 Falls Church $700,000 $778,500 61 76
22066 Great Falls $1,015,875 $1,049,900 236 301
22079 Lorton $625,000 $650,000 224 289
22101 McLean $1,160,000 $1,150,000 447 473
22102 McLean $1,200,000 $1,240,000 139 158
22124 Oakton $879,000 $876,000 154 171
22150 Springfield $465,000 $497,500 215 226
22151 Springfield $515,000 $520,000 202 192
22152 Springfield $565,000 $580,000 197 238
22153 Springfield $600,000 $620,000 281 313
22180 Vienna $720,000 $743,000 308 338
22181 Vienna $850,000 $850,000 139 156
22182 Vienna $882,000 $907,000 274 278
22303 Alexandria $478,000 $450,000 59 62
22306 Alexandria $534,500 $540,000 186 183
22307 Alexandria $700,000 $717,500 145 146
22308 Alexandria $655,000 $679,000 274 295
22309 Alexandria $555,000 $560,000 301 285
22310 Alexandria $510,000 $531,000 276 295
22311 Alexandria $540,000 $614,000 27 19
22312 Pinecrest, Overlook $512,000 $547,500 122 131
22315 Alexandria, Kingstowne $600,000 $643,890 124 169
Source: Black Knight

Builders remain constrained by the same problems that have plagued them the last several years. Buildable lots are scarce. Regulations add cost and time to the project. Tariffs have made building supplies more expensive and difficult to obtain. Labor shortages have made finding workers challenging.

Nonetheless, until the coronavirus outbreak, builders were optimistic. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index, which measures builder perceptions of single-family home sales, has hovered in the 70s the past six months. Any number greater than 50 indicates builders view conditions as good.

“Really, up until this point, the market has been really good,” said Jeff Kottmeier, a market research adviser for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “We had just come off of interest rates coming down and they’ve been really low. Employment was good. There was a lot of demand. Just visiting the different sales offices, the different projects, everybody for the most part was fairly upbeat.”

According to Kottmeier, single-family building permits were down in 2019 to 12,766 from 13,588 in 2018. New home closings were flat at 11,677 in 2019 compared with 11,492 in 2018.

As for what will happen this year, it is too soon to tell.

“I can’t even get my arms around it,” Kottmeier said. “We’re still kind of at the beginning.”

Editor’s note: Because newsroom resources are being deployed on the coronavirus pandemic coverage, we are unable to provide the map and interactive graphic that has been part of this report in the past. Some Zip codes in the above charts were left out because of too few sales.