Sunday, April 27, 2008

DC Sales: February 2008

I've finished my analysis of full value residential sales the District recorded in February 2008. It continues to be ugly out there. In the District, sales volume is way down and condo and home prices are lower.

Like January, I'm noticing more sales involving financial institutions; I assume these are foreclosures. February's sales data includes 31 "sales" to financial institutions. These sales represent slightly more than 7% of the month's transactions.

All data has been uploaded for viewing on and

State of the Market

In February 2008 the District recorded 441 residential sales.

Only one ward had higher sales volume. Wards 1, 5, and 8 had positive growth in prices; Wards 2, 3, 4, and 6 were negative; Ward 7 split the difference. Ward 4 had the steepest drop in sales volume, down 43%.

Condo sales dominated sales in Wards 1-3 and 6. In Ward 1, 58.49% of sales were condos; and Ward 2, 84.62%; Ward 3, 57.14%; and in Ward 6, 69.92%. Ward 6 accounted for 35.98% of all condo sales in the District, followed by Ward 2 at 27.62%.

Distribution of Sales

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

Changes in the Market YoY

In the aggregate, average prices were down almost 10% and median prices fell 2.12%. Sales volume continued its downward spiral, falling 25.38%; condos fell 26.46% and homes declined 24.06%.


The number of condos sold [existing and new] fell 26.46% YoY. Average prices were lower, down 4.1%, while median prices decreased 2.47%. Several condo buildings have come online, both new construction (e.g., CityVista) and conversions (Potomac Place Tower). Others continue to sell their remaining inventory (e.g., 1010 Mass):

Single Family Homes

Overall demand for single family housing is down 24.06%. Average prices were down 14.29% and median prices were down 7.04%. All categories of houses had declining sales volume.

I continue to believe the high end homes - those costing more than $1MM - are skewing the results. The data show that the average sales price for a District home was $508,701 in February. Of 202 homes sold, 15 sold for more than $1MM for a total dollar volume of $24,115,500; the eleven most expensive home sales were in Wards 2 and 3. In other words, 7.4% of February's recorded homes sales accounted for 23.47% of the dollar volume. Excluding these homes, the average home price in the District is $420,545, about 17% less. Excluding these 15 homes would reduce the District's aggregate average sales price by slightly less than 10%, to $391,718 vice $433,078.

Purchase the Data

For $5.00, you can purchase a listing of the February 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.

February 2008 Sales ListingsAdd to Cart

Detailed Data

Aggregate by Zip Code

February 2008 average and median sales prices and unit volume by zip code.

Aggregate by Ward

February 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.
  • Sales may have been recorded by the District's Recorder of Deed during the month yet may not appear in the District's real property sales database, my data source, many months later. Consequently, those sales will not be in the month's analysis.
  • 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.

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