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DC Area Market Update – March 2012


Low inventory plus high contract levels are consistent with the last few months but a serious rise in the median home price was startling, rising 7.8% versus one year ago. RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) who tracks the local market closely showing that prices for all types of residential properties have risen:  Condo sales prices rose have risen 14.1 percent while detached properties were up 7.8 percent, and town house median prices rose a total of  4.2 percent.





The median sale price in the DC Metro Area followed February’s 6.0% year-over-year gain, increasing 7.8% over March 2011 to $345,000. The median sale price for the first quarter was $325,000, 4.8% higher than the same period last year. Every jurisdiction in the region, with the exception of Prince George’s County, posted an annual increase in median sales price in the first quarter. Prince George’s fell a slight 1.6% from the Q1 2011 level to $155,500. Fairfax City had a median sale price of $417,000 in Q1-2012, representing an 11.1% year-over-year increase, the largest in the region. Arlington had the next highest annual increase, with a Q1-2012 median sale price of $495,000 that was 10.9% higher than the Q1-2011 level.  Washington, D.C. rounded out the top 3 movers in median price for the quarter, with the Q1-2012 median sale price of $395,000 representing a 7.7% annual uptick.

Looking specifically at median sale price figures by property type in March 2012, the condo/co-op segment experienced the largest increase over March 2011, up 14.1% to $269,250. The detached property and townhome segments also saw increases in median sales price, up 7.8% and 4.2% respectively. The median sale price for traditional listings (those not involving a short sale or foreclosure) was $398,000, representing a nominal 1.5% dip from March 2011. While the median sale price of $184,200 for foreclosed properties was less than half the traditional listing level, it represented a 24.5% increase over the foreclosed property level in March 2011.


Closed Sales and New Contracts

Along with continued low inventory compared to demand, the composition of the sold inventory was a factor in the pricing increases in March 2011. Detached property sales were up 1.6% year-over-year, while attached property (townhome + condo/co-op) sales were down 8.4%. Foreclosure sales were down 49.5% vs. March 2011, from 721 to only 364. There were 3,345 total sales, down a modest 3.8% from March 2011. Traditional sales were up 43.2% month-over-month, while bank-mediated sales (those involving a foreclosure or short sale) were up only 10.6% over last month’s level.  1 out of 10 properties sold were foreclosures in March 2012 (10.9%), down from 1 out of 5 (20.7%) in March 2011. Short sales accounted for 14.1% of sold inventory, effectively unchanged from the March 2011 market share.