State of the DC Area Real Estate Market – Where Did All The Listings Go?

by David Howell on April 12, 2019


We’re now firmly in the spring market, and there’s one question that has emerged that’s pretty hard to avoid: What happened to listing inventory in the City of Alexandria and in Arlington County?

At the end of March, most of the metro area had roughly the same number of listings on the market as this time last year.  But in Arlington County, inventory is down 40%, and in the City of Alexandria, there were exactly half as many homes on the market.


Where did the listings go?  Contract activity is a little higher than last year in both of these areas. But it isn’t contract activity that accounts for the big drop in inventory.

There has been a significant reduction in the number of new listings coming on the market; it simply isn’t being replaced at the same levels we have historically seen.  The Amazon HQ2 announcement may have something (or a lot!) to do with that, as some would-be sellers may be holding off with the expectation of higher prices down the road.

The lack of inventory has pushed absorption rates into the “extreme sellers’ market” for most price ranges in Arlington and Alexandria.   Although prices are higher than before the HQ2 news, that’s generally true throughout the region. We haven’t yet seen the big spike in prices that ordinarily accompanies very low supply. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this in the months ahead.

Every market is different and if you’d like to know more about how things are in your neighborhood, we encourage you to call your favorite McEnearney Associate and we’ll give you an in-depth analysis.

For reference, below you’ll find how we segment the market based on absorption rates.  And if you want to know more about up-to-date market conditions in your neighborhood, we hope you’ll give us a call.


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Listed with Betsy Twigg, Arlington Office | 703-967-4391

Built in 1991 and substantially renovated in the last few years, this light filled colonial offers style, quality, and convenience. Traditional living room flows into dining room with entry to screened-in porch. Professionally-designed custom kitchen with KitchenAid Architect and Viking appliances, breakfast area, wet bar (with U-Line wine refrigerator), and custom renovated laundry/mudroom/pantry span back of home and lead to the large family room. The wood-burning fireplace and custombuild-ins provide a comfy feel to the room. Upstairs there are 4 large bedrooms, a renovated hall bath and updated master bath. A sitting area and walk in closet are highlights of the master suite. The daylight-filled, newly completed walkout lower level has custom built-in bookshelves and desk, a wet bar with U-Line beverage fridge, and a large au pair/in-law suite with custom full bath attached. Generous storage is on this level. Recent HVAC, water heater, renovated kitchen, and lower level, and many additional updates inside and out. All new landscaping and hardscaping, including large flagstone patio, complete the outdoor space. Over 3,800 finished square feet including newly completed lower level. Nottingham, Swanson, Yorktown. Conveniently located between Lee-Harrison Center and Westover Village.

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Before joining McEnearney Associates in 1996, David was the owner and Principal Broker of his own real estate company for 12 years. David was the Managing Broker of our McLean office from 1996 - 2010, and was named our Chief Information Officer in September, 2010. In that role, he is responsible for the firm' technology, market information and public relations, and is the author of our MarketWatch newsletter. He is also Principal Broker for McEnearney Associates in Maryland, and is an Associate Broker in Virginia and Washington, DC.

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