Slow and steady was the pace of the DC metro housing market across much of 2014. While there were pockets of strong growth and patches of tepid sales, generally, we just simply plodded along. This wasn’t a bad thing. Slow and steady is just what you want to see in a recovering economy.
However, for the first time in 2014 the DC region’s real estate market showed noticeable gains last month, a good sign of confidence as we begin the new year.
According to Real Estate Business Intelligence, December showed an 8.0 percent year-over-year increase in closed sales from 2013. Although total closed sales for 2014 were down from 2013 by 6 percent, they remained higher than the annual totals for every year from 2007 to 2012.
Pending sales – sales that are under contract but not yet closed – also increased by nearly 11 percent compared to December of 2013. Pending sales are a good indicator of the direction of future buying activity, and December’s increase marks two consecutive months of year-over-year growth for the region.
While these increased sales could be a result of rising inventory, a median sales price of $408,000 last month was the highest December median price on record and an indication that rising inventory isn’t necessarily hurting prices. For the year of 2014, the DC metro median price was $405,750, the fifth consecutive year of growth after bottoming out at $331,500 in 2009.
Every area of the region enjoyed median price growth in 2014, with Prince Georges County having the biggest increase, jumping 11.6 percent from 2013. Prince Georges was followed by Falls Church City with a 9.3 percent boost. Fairfax City also had a big rise of 7.7 percent. Washington, DC and Arlington rounded out the top five with 5.1 percent and 2.4 percent growth respectively.
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