More home sales in the DC area are falling through

Nationwide, the share of home sales that fell through accounted for 15% of all transactions, the highest percentage since March and April 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.

There has been a similar increase in contracted sales that don’t close in the D.C. metro.

There are two emerging reasons for why.

“People might put in an offer, and then as mortgage rates have ticked up, they find they no longer qualify for the loan, so they have to back out of the deal. But the other side of it is, because the market is cooling a bit, we are also seeing buyers begin to ask for things they hadn’t asked for before, like appraisals and inspections,” said Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist listing service Bright MLS.

Median prices for homes that are selling in the D.C. metro are still rising, although at a slower pace. In June, the median selling price across the metro was $598,032, up 5.8% from a year ago, much slower than double-digit year-over-year gains seen in some other big metros in June.

There are other signs that the D.C. area market is slowing.

“One of the big signs is the number of new pending sales. This is the number of people making an offer on a home. We saw pending sales down year-over-year 21% in the Washington area, and that is the biggest annual decline in pending sales we have seen since the pandemic hit,” Sturtevant said.

The Bright MLS Home Demand Index, which measures forward-looking indicators of sales, not contracts signed or sales closed, such as Internet searches and real estate showings, is now in the “moderate” range,” down from “high” last summer.

Showings by real estate agents in June were down 27.5% from June 2021.

Bright MLS says there was an influx of inventory in June, or the number of homes for sale, suggesting price growth will moderate further over the summer.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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