WASHINGTON — It was a strong March for the D.C.-area housing market, with many metrics at 10-year highs, including median selling prices. But prices aren’t rising uniformly.
And Arlington, Virginia, continues to see one of the few noticeable declines in prices, likely because of what’s on the market and for sale.
Listing service MRIS, a Bright MLS company, says the median selling price across the Washington metro in March was $420,000, the highest March median selling price in at least the last decade. Sales volume, at $2.3 billion, was up 26.7 percent from last March.
And the number of closed sales across the metro area was up 18.5 percent from last year. It was the highest March level of closed sales in a decade.
New contract activity, a more accurate measure of the current market, also reached a 10-year high, up 1.4 percent over last year.
By jurisdiction, excluding Falls Church City which had just 13 closed sales in March, Arlington was the only county to show a year-over-year decline, with a median price of what sold last month at $508,500, down 6.2 percent from a year ago.
But MRIS says that is deceiving, because median prices have to do with a shifting mix in what’s on the market in Arlington.
“Attached housing, which is both townhouses and condominiums, the volume in relation to detached housing is up, so it’s the mix of the sales that are impacting that prices to reflect that it’s going down as opposed to actual housing prices that are going down,” Andrew Strauch from MRIS told WTOP.
The breakout county continues to be Prince George’s County, the Maryland county hardest hit by the housing downturn and by foreclosure inventory.
In Prince George’s County, the median selling prices in March was $268,500, still the lowest median price by county in the metro, but that’s up 14.3 percent from a year ago.
“The number of distressed houses there delayed the recovery, but if you take a look at the price increases and the volume of sales, they are in full recovery now and catching up to their record highs from a number of years back,” Strauch said.