Monday, March 03, 2008

DC Sales: 2007

Now that 2007 is behind us and 2008 is off to a scary start, I thought I'd provided a summary of full value residential sales the District recorded in 2007, compared to 2006. 2007 highlights:

  • Condos comprised more than half of all units sold in the District.
  • Average and median sales prices rose for all categories of single family homes and were flat/negative for condos.
  • Sales volume fell for every housing category.
  • Dollar volume fell across the board.

Mapped sales data can be be viewed below.

View Larger Map

State of the Market

The District recorded 7390 residential sales in 2007, 12.33% less than 2006. Dollar volume fell, too.

Ward 3 had a strong year with steep increases in average and median sales price. Ward 7 followed closely with positive price growth despite falling sales volume. The remaining wards had slightly positive or negative price gains. Only Ward 6 had positive growth in sales volume.

Condo sales dominated Wards 1-3 and 8. In no other instance did any type of housing represent more than 50% of sales in any ward.

Distribution of Sales

The chart below shows the distribution of sales recorded in the District in 2007, by sales price.

Almost 40% of units sold cost $350,000 or less.

Changes in the Market YoY

In the aggregate, average prices were up 4.27% while median prices were essentially flat. Sales volume fell 12.33%; condos fell 9.78% and homes declined 15.21%.


The number of condos sold [existing and new] fell 9.78% YoY, from 4470 to 4033. Average prices rose 0.29% and median prices fell 1.46%. Dollar volume fell 9.51%.

Single Family Homes

Overall demand for single family housing was down 15.21%. Average prices increased 8.75% and median prices grew 5.01%. All categories of houses had declining sales volume. Dollar volume fell 7.79%. Prices rise while fewer homes sell. Ward 3 has the honor of having the highest average and median prices in the District.

Purchase the Data

You can purchase the listing of 2007 home and condo sales recorded in the District for $75.00. 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. This particular listing, in PDF format, has 361 pages; the file is about 3MB in size.

Full Year 2007 Sales ListingsAdd to Cart

Detailed Data

Aggregate by Zip Code

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

Aggregate by Ward

Full year 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...

As usual, excellent analysis of data.

I have heard several times now that price declines closer in are not there and suggestions that they will not go down. I don't believe it. Because closer in has a higher proportion of sought after properties, I believe there will be a lag, but the proportion of price in the inner to the outer metropolitan areas will remain relatively constant. Even if prices don't drop fast, they will stagnate until the inflation adjust price returns to normal.

A tidbit for those who believe its always a good time to buy:

If you bought at the height of the stock market bubble, on average you would be have lost money, even though EIGHT years have passed.

See story in Fortune. This should be a cautionary tale for those wanting to jump into the market. Two of the bigger risks now faced are refinancing risk (will you even be able to get a good fixed rate mortgage if you start out with an ARM) and interest rate risk (the Fed rate cuts won't translate into mortgage rate declines since interest rate declines point to higher inflation, which is then built into interest rates that individuals and companies actually pay), which will lead to price declines, all other things being equal.

Although I expect condo p

Anonymous said...

And the link:

"Stocks might go down in any given year, the mantra went, but in the long term they'd produce double-digit returns. However, one of the lessons of the past eight years is that the long run can be ... really long. As I write this in late February, the U.S. market - which I'm defining as the Standard & Poor's 500 - is well below the high that it set on March 24, 2000. Even after you include dividends, which have run a bit below 2% a year, you've barely broken even, according to calculations for Fortune by Aronson & Johnson & Ortiz, a Philadelphia money manager.

Hello? Eight years of dead money in the broad stock market? How can that be, given that Ibbotson Associates says the S&P has returned an average of 10.3% a year, compounded, since 1926? Think of it as a six-foot man drowning in a pond with an average water level of six inches - if you step in at the wrong place, the water can be eight feet deep."