Monday, December 31, 2007

DC Sales: October 2007

I've finished my analysis of full value residential sales the District recorded in October 2007. Generally, sales volume in the District is down significantly, condos are tanking, yet single family homes continue to see price appreciation despite falling sales volume. While Case-Shiller shows that existing home prices in the DC metropolitan area have fallen, my data imply that District home prices are faring well. It's important to note that Case-Shiller excludes condos from its analysis.

And the mystery about 1010 Mass continues: not one unit has closed. Is it about to join Senate Square and McGill Row and go apartment?

All data has been uploaded for viewing on and

I hope each of you has a healthy and prosperous 2008! Happy New Year!

State of the Market

In October 2007 the District recorded 384 residential sales, 44.59%% less than the same month in 2006. For the first time that I can remember, more than half of all units sold were homes. Moreover, homes trounced condos in dollar volume, 62.83% compared to 37.17% of total dollar volume.

All but three wards had a decent month in terms of prices. Only one ward experienced declines in average and median prices while two others had lower average or median prices. However, all wards had lower sales volume, some of it quite significant [e.g., -62.58% in Ward 2]. Ward 3 had the highest percentage increase in average price, 15.57%.

Condo sales continue to dominate Wards 1 and 2. In Ward 1, 74.6% of sales were condos and in Ward 2, 77%.

Distribution of Sales

The chart below shows the distribution of October's recorded sales by sales price.

Changes in the Market YoY

In the aggregate, average prices were up 8.8% and median prices increased 1.69%. Sales volume collapsed, down 44.59%; condos fell 52.55% and homes declined 34.22%. Rising home prices counterbalanced falling condo prices.


The number of condos sold [existing and new] fell 52.55% YoY while prices [average and median] declined 7.96% and 0.67%, respectively. One factor that may affect the YoY comparison is that a number of new buildings were coming online in October 2006, including Columbia Residences, the Alta, the Rhapsody, Georgetown Heights, and the Fedora, among others. Sales in Wards 1 and 2 [Dupont Circle / Penn Quarter / Logan Circle] represented 50.54% of total condo sales. No new condo buildings have come online, but others continue to sell their remaining inventory:

Single Family Homes

Although overall demand for single family housing is down 34.22%, aggregate average prices rose 18.27% and median prices grew 6.54%. All categories of houses had large declines in sales volume, but the significant price gains for detached homes again carried the segment; although they comprised less than 30% of units sold, detached homes represented 47.83% of dollar volume for homes. Ward 3 has the honor of having the highest average and median prices in the District.

Purchase the Data

For $5.00, you can purchase a listing of the October home and condo sales recorded in the District discussed in this post. Information in the listing includes [see below]:

  • Address
  • Sale price and sale date
  • Unit number [if a condo and if available]
  • Price per square foot
  • Square footage
  • The number of bedrooms and baths for each unit

I use the District's downloadable data, which usually has a 6-12 month lag, meaning that the data doesn't include condos or homes completed within the past year. Data may not be available for all properties. My analysis is dependent upon the completeness and fidelity of the District's appraisal data.

October 2007 Sales ListingsAdd to Cart

Detailed Data

Aggregate by Zip Code

October 2007 average and median sales prices and unit volume by zip code.

Aggregate by Ward

October 2007 average and median sales prices and unit volume by ward.

Category by Zip Code

Category by Ward


  • Unlike MRIS, my data and analyses include new units [primarily condos] so there will be some differences in my conclusions about the market's state compared to a similar analysis based solely on MRIS reports, which only report sales of existing units sold and/or listed by real estate agents.
  • This analysis is of sales recorded by the District during the month as opposed to sales settled in the month, which is what MRIS reports, so there may be some discrepancies because of timing issues. However, I believe the data do provide a helpful indicator of trends in the District.
  • My analysis is based on District sales and appraisal data that I've collected and processed. I've deleted those sales that appear to be of questionable data quality. Errors are always possible.
  • My analysis is limited to condos and single family homes; I omit properties the District classifies as multifamily conversions. I'm sure I'm excluding some properties that are legitimate single family homes, but I want to eliminate uncertainty.


Anonymous said...

Dunno what's going on with the District's records system, but I actually live in 1010 Mass, as a renter from private owners. Also have a friend who bought a unit there back in Aug - Sept. Last I heard from the sales agents (McWilliams Ballard), they only had about 25 or so units left.


Keith said...

I can only assume the closing papers haven't been processed and recorded. It's odd that it would take this long.

So how do you like the building?

Anonymous said...

To clarify, 1010 Mass is over 75% sold. There are only 25 units remaining of over 150 units.

Believe it or not, there are several new home communities that are selling, despite what the national news media is saying.

Keith said...

Does "over 75% sold" mean over 75% have closed? If so, it's curious that the Recorder of Deed's office has recorded no deeds.

If it simply means that 75% are under contract, well, "these boots are made for walking."

Anonymous said...

Sorry, was out of town for the New Years! Building is great, though the noise of passing ambulance / cop sirens can be pretty loud, even on the 12th floor where I live! Can confirm what anonymous says is probably the case...whole lot more cars in the car park nowadays, though (strangely) when I walked past the last owners association meeting, there couldn't have been more than 50 or so gathered?! I'm targeting a 2BR unit, currently priced at about $749k for a 3-4th floor one. It'd take a $50k or so drop before I bite though. Will keep you posted.


Keith said...

Your observation on the more crowded parking lot and the sparse attendance at the association meeting could mean a lot of units are being rented vice owner occupied.

Or, as happens often, it simply means few owners bother to show up at the meeting.

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I closed (contract to close 30 days) on July 7th. My deed has been recorded (confirmed by Settlement Attorney). For whatever reason, they are not appearing on the website. However, if you search on the, there are several that will come up when you search. I've inquired about purchasing another unit, but as mentioned, there is limited supply (about 20 as of last Sunday).

Anonymous said...

Also, as an FYI, condo documents only allow 20% of units to be rented. Once the 20% threshold is reached, you go on a waiting list if you want to rent you unit.

Keith said...


The Recorder of Deeds does list the sales - using data provided by WaPo - but the District's sales database, my data source, has nothing. The property's are listed in the assessor's database under the developer's name.

Score another one for lousy District sales data.

As I said earlier, doesn't it make you feel good knowing public data is so screwed up?