A September Slowdown in the DC Area Housing Market?

by Nena Perry-Brown

The slow move back towards a buyer's market in the DC area sped up a little bit in September, as record prices and low inventory put a damper on home sales in the region.

The latest report from Bright MLS shows that the median home price in the region last month was $420,000 — 3.7 percent ($15,000) higher than September 2017. In DC proper, prices rose year-over-year by 4.8 percent, rising from $501,000 to $525,000. The prices for September were the highest for the decade, and that rise is now having an effect on buyer demand. 

A September Slowdown in the DC Area Housing Market?: Figure 1
Metrowide year-over-year number of closed sales in September. Click to enlarge.

In an acceleration of what was observed in August, the number of closed sales metrowide dipped 10 percent year-over-year — the most significant annual drop since May 2014. The number of transactions fell across all property types. 

Alexandria was the only jurisdiction which saw an increase (11.8 percent) in the number of closed sales; DC proper saw the smallest drop-off, falling by 3.8 percent, but the number of homes that went under contract last month may by a sign of what is to come. September was the second consecutive month with fewer pending sales in the area, falling by 7.6 percent year-over-year; in DC proper, pending sales fell off by 6.2 percent.

A September Slowdown in the DC Area Housing Market?: Figure 2
Metrowide September inventory, year-over-year. Click to enlarge.

New listings and active listings were also down year-over-year for the region, falling by 3.3 percent; for the District, however, the volume of new listings rose for the third straight month, albeit by just 1.4 percent. The quantity of active listings in the District had a more significant uptick, increasing by 5.8 percent year-over-year to hit 1,643.

It is still too early to herald the dawn of a resurgent buyer's market in the region, but if the data from September is any indication, we are moving in that direction. 

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-september-slowdown-in-the-dc-area-housing-market/14550

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