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August was a hot month for D.C. area real estate, with Arlington leading the way

The median home sales price was $465,000, a record for the decade

Several rowhouses of various colors in Washington, D.C., under blue skies.
Rowhouses in D.C.

The median value of home sales in the D.C. metropolitan area reached its highest August level of the decade last month, according to a new report by listings company Bright MLS: $465,000, up 5.1 percent, or $22,750, over August 2018. The number of closed sales fell to 4,907 from 5,064—a year-over-year decrease of 3.1 percent. The largest percentage gain in price, meanwhile, was in Arlington County, where they increased 12.4 percent, to $635,000.

“Generally, prices have been on a steady trend upward since mid-2016,” explains the report. “Compared to last year, prices for townhomes rose 3.4 percent to $440,000 and condos rose by 3.7% to $311,000. Single-family detached prices rose 4.2% to $585,000.” Bright MLS vice president Chris Finnegan attributes the sharp jump in Arlington’s median home price to “the Amazon effect,” as the tech giant seeks to preliminarily hire 25,000 employees at its planned Northern Virginia headquarters. New Arlington listings dropped 16.5 percent year-over-year.

A bar and line graph of August home sales and median prices in the D.C. Metro area over the past decade. Median prices have been steadily rising.
August home sales totals and median prices for the D.C. Metro area over the past decade
Bright MLS

“Conditions were generally steady in the District, but the amount of properties to choose from is actually growing, with supply figures increasing for detached homes (17.9 percent) and town homes (23.1 percent),” Finnegan says in a statement. The average sales to original list price ratio for the D.C. area saw a slight uptick, to 98.6 percent from 98 percent in 2018. This was the highest August level since 2010. Alexandria and Arlington, which were recently named the most competitive U.S. real estate markets by Redfin, observed the highest ratios.

A bar graph of August average sales to original list price ratios in the D.C. Metro area by jurisdiction. Alexandria and Arlington had the highest ratios.
August 2019 and 2018 average sales to original list price ratios for the D.C. Metro area
Bright MLS