“D.C. area’s housing market continues to sizzle in February,” exclaimed the March 10 post from Real Business Intelligence. And it indeed looked like good news for the regional market: Median prices for February were at the highest level in 10 years, as was sales volume (total dollar amount sold), and numbers of closed sales, pending sales, and new listings.
But dig a little deeper into these statistics and some interesting facts emerge: First, median prices in the District itself decreased from February 2016, as did median prices for Alexandria City and Falls Church City. More significantly, the only jurisdictions where median prices increased from the previous February all started with 2016 median prices lower than the median price of $537,000 for homes in D.C. in February 2016, while the two jurisdictions (in addition to D.C.) where median prices declined both started with February 2016 median prices higher (or approximately equal) to the D.C. 2016 median.
Further, there were 2,395 February sales with medians that increased from 2016, while only 695 sales in higher-priced jurisdictions where median prices decreased from February 2016, a figure representing just 22.6 percent of all the February sales.
Of course, there are always more buyers for lower-priced homes, but these figures also suggest that more buyers are looking for homes in jurisdictions where good values are still to be found. So, buyers, take a hint: You’ve still a month or so before the spring market starts heating up, and these February figures show where you might obtain some good values.
Ted Smith is a licensed Realtor with Real Living | at Home specializing in mid-city D.C. Reach him at TedSmithSellsDC@rlathome.com and follow him on Facebook, Youtube or @TedSmithSellsDC. You can also join him on monthly tours of mid-city neighborhood open houses, as well as monthly seminars geared toward first-time home buyers. Sign up at meetup.com.