Compared with a year ago, March sales in the Washington metropolitan area increased 9.9 percent, while average prices rose 9.7 percent.
The year-over-year price appreciation in March is a continuation of a 16-month trend of price growth in the metropolitan area. Year-over-year average prices were up 12.7 percent for single-family detached houses, 9.8 percent for townhouses and 6.7 percent for condominiums. The March data can provide an early indication of the strength of the housing market going into the rest of the year.
Sales activity tends to be much brisker in March than in February, and this year is no exception, with the number of sales in the metropolitan area increasing by 33.4 percent between February and March, an increase that is in line with the 10-year average increase. (Home sales data are from MRIS, the region’s multiple listing service.) Sales were up in March over February in all 22 jurisdictions in the Washington metropolitan area.
However, compared with last year, the February-to-March uptick was lower in the District and in Fairfax County and the independent cities of Fairfax, Falls Church and Alexandria. The relatively slower sales in March in these jurisdictions can be at least partially explained by the very low inventories; potential buyers have little to choose from in these locations.