Region closes out 2019 on strong note in real estate – Inside NoVA

The Washington region has now seen 39 consecutive months of year-over-year growth in home values, after wrapping up 2019 with a combination of higher sales and increasing prices that resulted in a nearly 27-percent year-over-year bump upward in total sales volume.

The median sales price of properties that went to closing across Washington and its inner core stood at $459,950 last month, up 3.4 percent from December 2018, according to data reported Jan. 13 by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

Sales were up more substantially, seeing a boost of 20.2 percent to 4,234, marking the largest year-over-year gain (in percentage terms) since late 2012.

As a result, total sales volume stood at a very un-December-like $2.4 billion, up 26.6 percent from a year before.

(Figures represent sales data from the District of Columbia; Arlington and Fairfax counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia; and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.)

For December, median sales prices were up in every jurisdiction save the city of Fairfax. Increases regionwide in median single-family prices (up 2.1 percent to $550,000) and condo prices (up 9.7 percent) were offset slightly by a modest 1-percent decline in the median sales price of townhomes, which declined to $445,000.

In terms of sales, all property types showed increases (single-family up 26.4 percent, townhomes up 20 percent and condos up 10.9 percent). Among various jurisdictions, total sales were higher everywhere except Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church, which continue to see problems related to a dearth of inventory.

December’s sales total was the highest ever recorded in the region for the final month of the year; the previous record of 4,198 was set in 2015.

Homes that went to closing during the month spent a relatively brisk 20 days between listing and ratified sales contract, well below the 10-year median for December of 32 days.

All jurisdictions showed improvement in days-on-market data; the quickest turnarounds from listing to ratified sales contract for the month were found in Arlington (nine days) and Alexandria (10 days) – each substantially lower than a year before.

Homes that sold in December garnered 97.9 percent of original listing price, down from November but higher than the 97.2 percent of a year before. All jurisdictions showed higher sales-price-to-listing-price ratios except the city of Falls Church, which was flat.

Townhomes had the highest ratio, at 98.8 percent, followed by condos at 97.9 percent and single-family homes at 97.3 percent.

Inventory at the end of the December stood at 5,489 properties, down 18 percent from a year before and at the lowest level in modern memory. The drop was most pronounced in the single-family category, declining 24.5 percent from a year before.

With the exception of the District of Columbia (which was up a fraction of a percent), inventory was down in every jurisdiction by rates ranging from 16 percent to nearly 53 percent.

For 2019 as a whole, sales across the region totaled 55,428, an increase of 1.9 percent from 2018. The median sales price of $459,900 for 2019 was up 4.5 percent regionally, with every jurisdiction seeing an increase at rates ranging from 0.5 percent in Alexandria to 8.9 percent in Arlington.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All figures are preliminary, and are subject to revision. For information, see the Website at

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