November 2011: Washington Metro Reports Gains in Median Sales Price
The number of contracts signed in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area for the month of November outpaced the five-year November average pace by 23.3%. While month-over-month sales usually decline at this time of year in this market, with a 10-year average drop of 6.2%, there was actually a 3.9% month-over-month increase in closed sales this November. Median sales price also showed an improvement over seasonal patterns, increasing 4.7% from October to $335,000, whereas the 10-year average change is a nominal 0.3% increase month-over-month. While the median sales price showed some resilience, due in part to a 13.6% decline in foreclosed sales from October, it slipped 3.0% year-over-year from November 2011.
• November contracts outpaced seasonal trends. There were 3,781 contracts signed in November 2011, 10.3% less than the 4,215 contracts signed in October, but November’s total was still 23.3% ahead of the five-year November average. The monthly total was the highest number of November signed contracts in six years. New pending sales were 6.7% above November 2010.
• Median sales price higher than previous month, slightly outpacing seasonal patterns. The $335,000 median sales price in November 2011 represents a 4.7% increase month-over-month, higher than the 10-year average October to November increase of 0.3%. The November 2011 median sales price represents a 3.0% decline from November 2010. The median sales price in November 2011 for foreclosed listings increased 6.1% month-over-month to $154,000 while the median sales price of $200,000 for short sales was identical to the previous month’s level.
• Active inventory is considerably below the five-year average. There were 12,582 active listings at the end of November 2011, which is 28.8% below the 17,661 monthly averages of the past five years and down 17.8% from November 2010. So buyers were faced with lower inventory to choose from than the same period a year ago and significantly less listings in foreclosure. The 699 foreclosed listings on the market represented a decline of 50.2% from the 1,403 foreclosed listings at the end of November 2010. The 366 new listings entering the market in foreclosed status was 47.7% lower than the same period last year and also represented a 9.0% decline from October 2011.
• Slight increase in number of closed sales. There were 2,926 closed sales in November 2011, a 3.9% increase from the October 2011 level, marking only the second time in the past decade where closed sales increased from October to November. The 348 foreclosed sales in November 2011 represented a month-over-month decline of 13.6% and a decline of 35.7% from the 541 level of November 2010. There was a 7.8% year-over-year increase in closed short sales, though the 399 sales in this category.
The RBI Pending Home Sales Index™ is a two-year moving window on the housing market using new pending sales (signed contracts) and median sales price (closed sales). It provides unique insight into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales for each month through the most recent month. The results include new pending sales through and including November 2011. The market area includes: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland, and Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City in Virginia.
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