The Shutdown Effect Dissipates in February But the DC Housing Market is Still Seesawing

  • March 12th 2019

by Nena Perry-Brown

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A DC home that went under contract in February.

Last month, the region saw the effect that the federal government shutdown had on the local housing market in the form of a noticeable drop in pending home sales or the number of homes that went under contract. New statistics from February show how the market began showing signs of relief after the shutdown ended, but continues the regional trend of rising home prices and falling sales that the market has experienced for months.

The median home price in the DC area hit a decade-high of $427,000 for February, according to the latest statistics from Bright MLS, a 4.1 percent increase over February 2018. Meanwhile, 2,870 sales closed in the region, an almost 6 percent drop compared to last February.

February closed sales and median sold prices. Click to enlarge.

In DC proper, closed sales fell by 15 percent year-over-year, although this was expected due to the drop in pending sales in January. However, pending sales in DC increased by 7 percent in February, perhaps indicating the relief of some pent-up demand during the shutdown. Prince George's County, which has the third-highest concentration of federal government employment in the metro area, was the only jurisdiction besides DC where new pending sales increased year-over-year, going up by 9.6 percent. 

Looking ahead, the spring market looks to favor buyers, depending on where they are looking. The number of new listings hitting the market in the DC area fell by 7.3 percent compared to last February, leading to 3 percent fewer active listings overall. However, DC is no longer starved for inventory. The number of new listings hitting the market rose by 8 percent in DC proper, increasing the total supply on the market by 19 percent year-over-year. Interestingly, the inventory of single-family detached homes in particular rose by 5.6 percent throughout the region, while condo inventory plummeted by 21 percent.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-shutdown-effect-dissipates-in-february-housing-market/15112.

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