The story in MarketStats on the MRIS blog exulted, “This is the highest March median sales price on record, with data going back to 1997.” Of course, those prices will be probably climb even higher as we enter the peak spring market for real estate sales.
I decided to dig a little deeper into this statistic to see what it means, not just for the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia suburbs), but for the individual counties that make up the DC Metro region. I looked at five counties or groups of counties: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, and the counties served by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County and Fairfax City, and Falls Church County).
The line graph here shows that the DMV overall has risen from a median sold price of $384,000 in March 2008 to the $420,000 figure quoted by MarketStats. The obvious “winner” in this analysis is the District proper, where the median sold price went from $399,000 in March 2008 (not too far from the overall regional median) to outpace the other counties considered here, with a median sold price of $535,000 in March 2017, a 34 percent increase. The next clear winner is the Northern Virginia counties, with an increase of 24 percent from $401,880 in March 2008 to a median sold price of $498,000 in March 2017.
What about Maryland? Montgomery County is the closest in pattern to the overall DMV, with a rise from $400,500 in March 2008 to $410,000 in March 2017, only a 2.3 percent increase. The county with the least improvement is Prince Georges, which has actually fallen from its March 2008 median sold price of $292,500 to $268,500 in March 2017, a decline of 8 percent.
So what do we learn from this analysis? It looks like the housing market across the DMV is truly back to its levels from 2008, when the recession began. That’s great news for sellers in the District and Northern Virginia. For buyers, it looks like there are some bargains to be had in Maryland, especially in Prince George’s County. Happy sales to you!
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.