Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DC Sales: November 2007

I've finished my analysis of full value residential sales the District recorded in November 2007. Same old, same old. Sales volume in the District is down, condo prices are falling, single family home prices continue to appreciate despite falling sales volume.

All data has been uploaded for viewing on DCHomePrices.com and DCCondoPrices.com.

State of the Market

In November 2007 the District recorded 431 residential sales, 32.87% less than the same month in 2006. Dollar volume fell, too.

Only Ward 6 had positive growth in prices and sales volume; the rest had lower prices and/or sales volume. All but one ward had lower sales volume, some of it quite significant [e.g., -59.12% in Ward 2].

Condo sales continue to dominate Wards 1 and 2. In Ward 1, 76.86% of sales were condos and in Ward 2, 62.59%. More than half of all sales in Ward 1 were rowhouses [57.37%] while detached homes dominated Ward 3 [55.13%].

Distribution of Sales

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

Changes in the Market YoY

In the aggregate, average prices were up 3.34% and median prices increased 3.47%. Sales volume continued its downward spiral, falling 32.87%; condos fell 39.48% and homes declined 22.96%.


The number of condos sold [existing and new] fell 39.48% YoY. Average prices rose 1.29% while median prices fell 2.81%. Once again, a factor that may affect the YoY comparison is that a number of new buildings were coming online in November 2006, including Columbia Residences, the Alta, Q14, the Rhapsody, the Whitman, and the Fedora, among others. Sales in Wards 1 and 2 [Dupont Circle / Penn Quarter / Logan Circle] represented 59.55% of total condo sales. One new condo building has come online and others continue to sell their remaining inventory:

Single Family Homes

Overall demand for single family housing is down 22.96%. Average prices flat-lined at 0.17% and median prices grew a stronger 3.94%. All categories of houses had large declines in sales volume. Once again, 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 November 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.

November 2007 Sales ListingsAdd to Cart

Detailed Data

Aggregate by Zip Code

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

Aggregate by Ward

November 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.


Terminator-X said...

Thank you for taking the time to post this data. Sales are down considerably, which is a leading indicator of lower prices. Home sellers don't immediately lower prices in reaction to diminished demand; rather, sellers hold out in hopes that one of the fewer byers will fall in their lap and offer the desired price. In that regard, what is the inventory in relation to last year? Once we hit 8+ months supply, prices will start to slide.

Anonymous said...

Excellent information. I would like to point out a recent sales at a loss at one of the new buildings, the Matrix.

Unit 607 was sold by the developer to the buyer in July 2007 for $510,000. The original price was an astronomical $667 psf. The buyer, I believe, said he must leave town. The original selling price was $496,000, but this is now reduced to $440,000. (MLS ID# DC6624206). That's a loss of $40,000 in six months. The new price is $575 psf, which is unfortunately still a high price.

The good: this unit is right on 14th Street with a great view.

I have done an analysis of the prices at the new developments still for sale. Interestingly for those units that closed in 2005 and 2006, the developers such as Metropolis and PNHoffman seemed to sell for around $450-$500 psf, before the units were flipped during the last days of the frenzy when prices rose 20% per year.

Apparently the developers think they should make more money than they did selling premium units in 2006, trying to sell at almost 4600 psf. Before the boom, new condo prices were in the $400 psf range in Washington.

Keith said...

December 2007's MRIS data shows a 6.19 month inventory for homes and 6 months for condo based on that month's sales. Active listings in that month are slightly higher than that of December 2006, 2880 vice 2781.

However, December 2006's condo inventory stood at 4.92 months compared to the aforementioned 6 months, so it's a little worse now.

The "stickiness" of sales prices has been mentioned in a number of articles, I believe I posted a blog about it a few weeks ago [entitled "Stuff's worth what it's worth" or something like that].