Sunday, January 25, 2009

District Sales: September 2008

I've finished my analysis of full value residential sales the District recorded in September 2008. Key points:

  • Compared to September 2007, sales volume was up 4.49% and dollar volume was 1.11% lower.
  • In contrast to the prior year, more homes than condos sold in September, 314 versus 291.
  • Old City II led the District in sales, accounting for 17.52% of units sold and 16.73% of dollar volume, far higher than any other neighborhood in the District.
  • Condos dominated sales in Wards 1, 2, and 6.
  • Thirty five homes sold for $1MM or greater; 5.79% of units sold accounted for 19.71% of the month's dollar volume.

Foreclosures were more apparent in September's sales, too, accounting for 56 of the month's transactions. Among those institutions taking it on the chin were:

  • Bank of New York [7]
  • Countrywide [2]
  • Deutsche Bank [9]
  • Freddie Mac [3]
  • Fannie Mae [4]
  • First Horizon Home Loan [2]
  • HSBC [3]
  • LaSalle Bank [4]
  • US Bank [15]
  • WaMu [2]
  • Wells Fargo [5]

All data have been uploaded for viewing on and

State of the Market

In September 2008 the District recorded 605 residential sales. The average sales price fell 5.36% and the median sales price fell 2%. The condo market continues to retrench: unit sales are down 4.59% YoY and dollar volume is down 3.85%. The number of homes sold rose a healthy 14.6%, but dollar volume was flat, ticking up 0.97%.

Wards 1-3 and 7-8 had lower unit sales YoY. Wards 2 and 7 experienced increases in average sales price; Wards 2, 3, and 7 had higher median prices. Ward 8 had the steepest drop in sales volume, dropping almost 33%.

Condo sales ruled Ward 2 [again]: 77.48%.

Distribution of Sales

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


The number of condos sold [existing and new] fell 4.59% YoY. Average and median prices were essentially flat, up a slight 0.77% and 0.95%. Among those condos that have sold:

Single Family Homes

YoY, single family home unit sales were up a robust 14.6% in September. However, the average sales price dropped 11.9% and the median sales price fell 8.39%. Despite huge gains in unit sales, average and median sales prices for rowhouses and detached homes dropped significantly: rowhouses, down 14.79% and 13.95%; detached homes, down 23.38% and 30.28%.

Download the Data

You can download a listing of the September home and condo sales recorded in the District discussed in this post for $2.50. 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.

September 2008 Sales ListingsAdd to Cart

Detailed Data

Aggregate by Zip Code

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

Aggregate by Neighborhood

September 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.


Anonymous said...

Why aren't condo prices down more, or why are condo prices down less than rowhouses and houses? I don't get it . . . really should be the other way around. Are higher-end condo's coming on the market, or are the price declines masked by incentives?

Keith said...

I've not done the analysis, but I assume the new properties coming online boosted average and median sales prices for condos since their prices - the new properties - tend to be even stickier than those of resale properties.

In that case, MRIS' data is probably a better gauge of market conditions.