DC Home Prices Hit Highest Level on Record

by UrbanTurf Staff

DC Home Prices Hit Highest Level on Record: Figure 1

Home prices in the District of Columbia rose 13.6 percent between March 2012 and March 2013 to reach a median sales price of $460,000, the highest on record for the city, according to a report released by RealEstate Business Intelligence on Wednesday.

In northern Virginia, the price increases were even more notable; Alexandria and Falls Church saw prices rise 24 percent and 37 percent, respectively. March also marked the fifth month in a row that the median price in the DC area increased (year-over-year) by double digits.

Even as prices rise in the region, homes are selling at their fastest rate in eight years, according to the report.

The median number of days that a home for sale is spending on the market is a mere 15 days currently. To put that number in perspective, homes are now selling about three times faster than just 12 months ago.

Despite evidence that it is a very attractive time to be a seller, a low inventory of homes on the market continues to plague the region. The RBI report reveals that there were 6,289 active listings in the DC area at the end of March, 4,200 fewer listings compared to last March.

More on inventory from the report:

The subtle signs of improvement in new listings that occurred last month have faded. There were 5,817 new listings in March, 15.8 percent lower than last March. New listings rose 28.1 percent from last month, but this is well below the 10-year average February-to-March change for the region of +41.1 percent.

Here are a few other interesting statistics from the report:

  • The average sales-to-original-list-price ratio reached 97.6 percent in March, the highest ratio in nearly 7 years.
  • Closed home sales rose 6.7 percent, the 12th consecutive month with a year-over-year gain.

The area that RBI analyzes includes DC, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_home_prices_hit_highest_level_on_record/6913


  1. Rolly said at 4:04 pm on Wednesday April 10, 2013:
    The bubble keeps growing and growing...
  1. StringsAttached said at 4:50 pm on Wednesday April 10, 2013:
    @Rolly I wouldn't really call it a bubble. There are jobs in the area and instead of coming and going, most young professionals are staying and starting families. They need places to live. That fact, coupled with the reality of individuals sticking to very targeted DC neighborhoods, and "low inventory", means the homes that are up for sale will command a higher price. In addition, the DC market never crashed, it just went from ridiculously hot, to normal.
  1. Found said at 4:55 pm on Wednesday April 10, 2013:
    I agree with @StringsAttached. A bubble implies that there is an oversupply of homes on the market; in the DC area there is the exact opposite.
  1. Janson said at 6:35 pm on Wednesday April 10, 2013:
    Median isn't a very helpful measure, since the mix of sales is changing with tighter credit now than at any time since the 80's. All of the house price indexes agree that the DC region (not metro) is far below its earlier peak. The January Case-Shiller index was at 187.42 and in May of 2006 it was at 251.07. The index will have to rise 34% more before it even reaches the old peak despite major population increase and historically low rates. Caveats: index doesn't include condos & is a trailing indicator about about two months. Still.
  1. CH said at 4:28 am on Thursday April 11, 2013:
    Not sure mix of sales argument holds up in DC. While tight credit keeps low income folks on the sidelines (driving down low-price segment sales) it also keeps mid-to-upper income away from high-priced (artificially inflated during boom due to lack of regulations) segments. Looking at volume by type, Attached homes account for higher proportion of homes sold in Mar-2013 than in Nov-2005 (the month during bubble w/ highest median $). Detached account for 15% of Mar sales, compared with 19% of sales in Nov-2005. If anything, that should have driven median down. Low inventory (and low rates) play bigger role than shifting mix. I wouldn't cite Case-Shiller as the go-to measure, especially considering they throw out condos (47% of March sales in DC). We'll see what CS reports about March in a few months, though. FYI, for sake of apples-to-apples, the median price for attached segment (TH+condo) is also at at an all-time high.
  1. Caleb said at 2:52 pm on Thursday April 11, 2013:
    What stands out to me in this data is that there are still suburbs that are more expensive to purchase a home than in the district proper. The region is going through major changes where the once murder capitol of the world is running a budget in the black with safer streets and commercial services to support residents. As more and more people decide to forgo suburban life, McMansions and large commutes, I suspect that neighborhoods once deemed less desirable--Ekington, Trinidad, East Capitol Hill--will continue to support increased housing prices...as we saw happen in Dupont, Logan, Chinatown, etc.
  1. Robert said at 6:19 am on Wednesday April 17, 2013:
    Absolutely agree with Caleb. And I think a lot of mid- to upper-income buyers see the figurative train pulling out of the station in the Hill and other hot neighborhoods, and want to jump on the property ladder there before they are priced out forever.

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