Saturday, September 13, 2008

DC Sales: May 2008

I've finished my analysis of full value residential sales the District recorded in May 2008. I fear I'm beginning to sound like a stuck record: it wasn't a good month - huge declines in the number of units sold and dollar volume - and expensive homes continue to skew the data. Key points:

  • Compared to May 2007, sales volume was down 18.12% and dollar volume was 24.38% lower
  • In May, Old City II led the District in sales, accounting for 21.63% of units sold and 19.6% of dollar volume.
  • Condos dominated sales in Wards 1-3 and 6.
  • Thirty two homes sold for more than $1MM; 5.23% of units sold accounted for 17.92% of the month's dollar volume.

One new item I've added to the analysis is sales by neighborhood.

All data have been uploaded for viewing on and

State of the Market

In May 2008 the District recorded 601 residential sales. In general, the average price fell 7.64% and the median price fell 4.13%. However, results for the condo market looked especially dire: unit sales down 27.15% YoY and dollar volume down [as in April] a whopping 38.57%. Although not as bad, single family home sales didn't escape the month unscathed. Average prices fell 2.57%, the median price fell 9.24%, the number of homes sold fell 5.28%, and the dollar volume declined 7.72%.

Every ward had lower sales YoY. Wards 1 and 8 were alone in having higher average and median prices. Otherwise, all wards had lower average sales prices and, aside from Ward 6, had lower median prices, too. Ward 8 again had the steepest drop in sales volume, dropping a tad more than 49%.

Condo sales ruled Ward 2 [again]: 85.95%.

Distribution of Sales

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


The number of condos sold [existing and new] fell 27.15% YoY. Average and median prices were much lower, down 15.69% and 1.34%. Among those condos that have sold:

Single Family Homes

Overall demand for single family housing is down 5.28%, as measured in unit sales. Average prices were down 2.57% and median prices were down 9.24%.

Purchase the Data

For $5.00, you can purchase a listing of the May 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

Note: Data may not be available for all properties. My analysis is dependent upon the completeness and fidelity of the District's appraisal data.

May 2008 Sales ListingsAdd to Cart

Detailed Data

Aggregate by Zip Code

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

Aggregate by Neighborhood

May 2008 average and median sales prices and unit volume by neighborhood.

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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