2019 | Real Estate

Home Sales in Region Increase for First Time Since July 2018

Montgomery median price up 5% in past month

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Image via Flickr: American Advisors Group (CC BY-SA 2.0)

After eight months of declines, April home sales rose in the Washington region compared to the same month a year ago, according to new market data.

Although sales in Montgomery County fell by 3.5% in a year-over-year comparison for the month, 311 more properties were sold in April compared to March, according to a report released Monday by real estate listing service Bright MLS.

Inventory in the county fell in April compared to April 2018 but jumped drastically from last month, up 360 properties from the March total. Inventory in the region was up 10.8% from March to April.

Lower inventory has limited home sales for the past few months, and while those numbers are getting better, available options remain tight, Bright MLS Vice President Andrew Strauch said.

“The question is whether the dearth of inventory is going to have an upward pressure on prices or are people going to just start putting more on the market to mitigate that,” Strauch said. “Eventually when you bleed off enough of the inventory, prices by definition will have to go up more quickly because there’s a number of people that are going to want to buy.”

The county’s median sales price rose 5.6% from April 2018, an increase of $21,000 to $464,000. For 2019, the number is up 3.5% to $440,000 compared to 2018.

The April median sales price of $475,000 in the Washington region was up $25,000 year-over-year, the highest jump since April 2012 to 2013.

Median sales prices for condominiums, townhomes and single-family detached homes all rose in April compared to the same month in 2018. Condominiums saw the biggest jump at 7.9%, followed by townhomes at 4.2% and single-family detached homes at 2.3%.

Single-family detached homes have sold better in recent months, which Strauch attributed that to a shift in how young people approach home buying, but demand for condominiums appears to be up.

Strauch said newer, more expensive condominiums hitting the market could also explain the increase in median sales price.

New pending sales were up 1.1% year-over-year across the region, and the county saw an increase of 2.8%. The 6,513 pending sales in the Washington area were 2% behind the April 2016 peak for the decade.

The 4,997 homes sold in the region were the most this past decade.

Listings rose 2.5% in the county compared to April 2018, though they fell across the region. Only Falls Church City, Virginia, and the District experienced increases in listings, in addition to the county.

Listings will likely dictate the state of the market moving forward, as residents looking to sell their homes need somewhere to go.

“It’s really going to be up to are more listings going to come in … to provide the choice people are looking for,” Strauch said.