Demand in the Washington DC metro housing market has increased in October following the usual slowdown in activity in September. Buyers are still active in the market as sales, median price gains and new pending contracts are all higher than their 10-year average change from September. All market indicators are above 2011 levels while several are at multi-year October highs. There is also a 7-year high for new pending contracts, which might be tied to the mild temperatures observed in October.

Buyers appear to be purchasing townhomes and condos, as evidenced by the fact that the proportion of new contracts on single-family homes has reached the lowest point in 2 years. The lower price points of these real estate properties as well as location preferences of active buyers may explain this phenomenon. Median prices have increased in the market in exhibiting the highest year-over year price gain in almost 7 years. Playing a role in the price gains is the continued fall in the inventory of properties for sale. Active listings are about half of their level 2 years ago and new listings for last month were at their lowest point in over 10 years. Town homes have posted the highest median price growth and new contract growth of all real estate segments, indicating the segment is continuing to gain real growth. However, despite the increase in prices, it is improbable that the market will witness a growth in active listings as 2012 ends. Many would-be sellers are still dealing with equity losses and there is still plenty of economic uncertainty.

Closed Sales 

Demand has increased across all property segments with the highest October sales since 2009. October sales in the Washington DC Metro Area amounted to 3,269 – a 16.1 percent hike over last October. Prices, New Contracts and Inventory Median price gains are at their highest for the DC Metro Area in almost 7 years. At $362,500, the median property price in the region is 13.3 percent higher than October 2011 – the highest year-over-year increase for any month since December 2005.

With town homes leading the segments, new contracts are at the highest level for October in seven years. There were 4,459 new contracts inked last month in the DC area, up 5.8 percent from this point last year and the highest October total in 7 years.

New listings for October are at their lowest in over 10 years and are roughly half of what they were in October 2010.