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Region's median home-sale price in May tied for highest ever

Closings were down slightly from a year before, according to Bright MLS

The median home-sales price of $640,000 across the Washington region in May tied the all-time high set just a month before and was up 6.7 percent year-over-year, according to new figures.

“Prices continue to rise despite the significant uptick in inventory,” said Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist of Bright MLS, the region’s multiple-listing service.

“The biggest challenge in the market right now is affordability,” Sturtevant said in parsing May’s sales data. “More buyers are being kept out of the market by high home prices and elevated mortgage rates.”

Across the metro area, May brought 5,121 home closings, down 2.2 percent from a year before. The number of pending sales for the month also was down from a year ago, and inventory (7,353 homes on the market at the end of May) is up nearly one-third from the same month in 2023.

Buyers were not just opening their wallets, but were moving quickly. Half of all homes that sold for the month were on the market six days or less.

Some prospective sellers were attempting to hop on the market before any potential cool down. A total of 5,970 new listings came on the market for the month, up 7.3 percent from a year before and well above the 5.4-percent year-over-year increase year-to-date.

The figures represent market conditions in the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia; and Montgomery, Prince George’s and Frederick counties in Maryland.

All jurisdictions saw an increase in year-over-year median sales prices except for Alexandria, which dropped slightly. Three jurisdictions saw year-over-year sales increases, six posted declines and, with 19, the city of Falls Church was unchanged.

Home showings for the month were down in all jurisdictions, not a surprise given the peak period for prospective purchasers typically is the early-to-mid-spring period in the local area, and tends to cool by May.

Except for the relatively small cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, all component jurisdictions have higher inventory than a year ago. Those increases range from 10.3 percent in Alexandria to a whopping 44.3 percent in Frederick County, with Arlington clocking in at 17.5 percent and Fairfax at 29.5 percent.

Figures represent most, but not all, homes on the market. All May 2024 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision.

For full data, see the Website at