Metro DC Housing Market Analysis: 2011 07

Prince George’s County Continues to Struggle

August 9, 2011

(Washington, DC) – Prince George’s County is one of the components of the Metropolitan Washington, DC region (which also includes Montgomery County in Maryland, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties in Virginia and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park in Virginia and Washington, DC).  Since 2006, Prince George’s has generated 14 percent of the region’s total existing home sales volume.  Even though it has always been known as an affordable alternative to the more costly DC suburbs, Prince George’s County is an anomaly in this region; its housing market is in a steep and steady decline.

Consider the fact that the entire metro DC region has suffered a 21 percent decline in its year-to-date median sales price (January through July each year) since 2006. Bad enough, to be sure, but the comparable decline in Prince George’s County is a whopping 50 percent and still falling.  While the year-to-date median sales price has seen modest increases throughout the metro area in 2010 and 2011, Prince George’s County has had six consecutive years of median price decreases.

  • Metro DC Jan-Jul 2006 MSP = $415,000;  Metro DC Jan-Jul 2011 MSP = $330,000
  • PGC Jan-Jul 2006 MSP = $320,000; PGC Jan-Jul 2011 MSP = $160,000


So far this year, the median sales price in Prince George’s County has declined 7 percent whereas the median has increased 18 percent for the entire region and while the metro area had three decreases in the last seven months, Prince George’s has had five.

  • Metro DC Jan 2011 MSP = $299,900; Jul 2011 = $355,000
  • PGC Jan 2011 MSP = $171,900; Jul 2011 = $160,000

Compare the July average days on market in the metro DC area of 64 days to the comparable average in Prince George’s County – 104 days.  The average across the region declined 19 percent from January to July 2011 while it increased 17 percent in Prince George’s County.

  • Metro DC Avg Days on Market Jan 2011 = 79 days; Jul 2011 = 64 days
  • PGC Avg Days on Market Jan 2011 = 89 days; July 2011 = 104 days
  • Metro DC YTD Avg Days on Market 2011 = 72 days
  • PGC YTD Avg Days on Market 2011 = 98 days

The year-to-date average close price to original list price ratio in the metro DC area was 94.2 percent (as of July 31st) with five consecutive months above 94 percent.  In Prince George’s County, the year-to-date average is 89.3 percent and it’s had five consecutive months below 90 percent.

Another troubling aspect of the Prince George’s County market is its share of distressed sales (short sales and bank-owned properties).  The ratio is trending down but it is still strikingly high.  Roughly 23 percent of metro DC’s sales in July 2011 were distressed.  About 57 percent of Prince George’s sales were distressed in July.  Through the end of July, the 2011 average share of distressed sales in the metro area was 32 percent; it was 64 percent in Prince George’s County.  Further, for the last two consecutive months the metro DC share was less than 25 percent; it was above 55 percent in Prince George’s County since May 2010.

By contrast, the other component jurisdictions and realtor associations in the metro DC area have all seen year-to-date median sales price increases in 2011 compared to 2010; the 2011 average days on market is below 80 days elsewhere in the region; the 2011 average close price to original list price ratio exceeds 93 percent everywhere but Prince George’s County; and the 2011 average share of distressed sales exclusive of Prince George’s ranges from 15 percent in the District of Columbia to 43 percent in the Prince William realtor association (PWAR).

For more detail, please see Metro Dc Housing Analysis 2011 07

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