Monday, March 16, 2009

MRIS February 2009 Housing Report: Bleh!

Last week MRIS released its data for signed sales contracts for existing home and condos in the District during February 2009. Compared to February 2008, the carnage continues: unit sales, dollar volume, average and median sales prices all fell. Key YoY data points:

What I'm seeing in February's data:

  • I'm wondering whether we're witnessing the condo market's collapse: unit sales and dollar volume fell 45.05% and 37.04% YoY, respectively. Home sales were just as bad: unit sales down 16.04%, dollar volume down 33.83%.
  • To put it in perspective, the least number of condos sold in any month during 2008 was 137 in November. For homes - 168 in January. In other words (or to belabor the point), no month in 2008 had sales volume as low as that of February 2009.
  • YoY, average prices for condos rose 14.59% while those for homes declined 21.19%. Overall, prices fell 6.07%. I attribute the decoupling of condo prices to condo sales volume to the fact that 3 condos sold for more than $1MM, one of those in the range $2.5-5MM, presumably skewing the average sales price.
  • Based on February's sales volume, there is a 16.12 month inventory of condos listed [a 2.92% increase from January] and 12.01 month's supply for homes [a 0.65% increase]. Compared to February 2008, the number of condos listed is up 5.02%, while home listings grew 1.95%.

Detailed Data

Average Sales Price

Dollar Volume

Transaction Volume


Anonymous said...

This will make for an interesting 2009. And thanks to his blog, I sit and wait and watch.

Anonymous said...

At least three bedrooms, attached did better!

billyhacker said...

Thanks for the data. Can't wait to see what impact this unprecedented months of supply will have on price. I guess the real question is, will there be an increase in demand given the tax credit and interest rates...

Keith said...


Until District prices come down a lot, I don't believe the $8000 tax break and lower interest rates will make a huge difference on the demand side.

Prices are still high. One bedroom condos in the District are in the $300-400K price range, which, in today's stiffer lending environment, will still require at least a 10% down payment and an income that will support the more conservative lending ratios [figure $100-133K / year].

Anonymous said...

If you look into the zip code stats, the high end zip codes are showing a huge glut of inventory. 20007 has a 22 month supply, 20008 a 15 month, etc. The supply levels in these zip codes has been trending upward for the past several months. My guess is that these areas will see significant price reductions before the end of 2009.

Anonymous said...

what you are seeing is market seizure.

prices are down 6%, sales volumedown 35%,
nobody is buying, nobody will sell at that price.
so, until someone flinches, it seizes.

we saw all this in california 2 years ago

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I really appreciate all your effort on this blog - keep up the fantastic work.

I am out in downtown Silver Spring and the prices here are still very high. However, there are dislocations in the condo market, I am wondering if housing prices are next?

Olive said...

Anon 11:44, you're right about the MOI for the high-end zip codes, but it actually breaks down in different way for condos vs. houses, with houses not as bad as condos.

For instance, Feb 2009 for 20007:
Houses: 122 listings / 8 sales = 15.25 MOI
Condos: 97 listings/ 2 sales = 48.5 MOI

Feb 2009 for 20008:
Houses: 60 listings / 6 sales = 10 MOI
Condos: 88 listings / 4 sales = 22 MOI

Feb 2009 for 20009:
Houses: 47 listings / 6 sales = 7.8 MOI
Condos: 260 listings / 26 sales = 10 MOI

I agree with your overall point, but I won't be surprised to see prices for condos in these DC zip codes fall way more than prices for SFHs.

Anonymous said...


Your site is awesome keep up the good work.

Keith said...

Anonymous 1:02 -

Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The analysis you provide is clear and helpful to understanding the current state of affairs in DC RE.