Real Estate by The Numbers: Average Days on Market

By: Mary Clare Glover

In real estate, days on market (DOM) means the number of days between when a house goes on the market and when a seller accepts a buyer's contract.
 
For those looking to buy or sell real estate, DOM is an important statistic: In a buyer’s market, the average DOM is higher because inventory takes longer to sell; in a seller’s market, the average DOM is lower because homes are snatched up quickly. 

This chart compares the average DOM in eight Washington-area counties from December 2006 to December 2005. It doesn’t take a genius to see the trend—in all eight counties, the number has virtually doubled.

If you are in the market to buy a home, this means you can probably afford to take your time—the days when buyers put down an offer on the spot are long gone. If you are trying to sell, you may have to be patient.

Of course, there are always exceptions. In a market like Washington's, close-in locations never go out of style. 

 
December 2006

December 2005

Alexandria

81

35

Arlington

72

36

Fairfax

97

38

Loudoun

101

37

Montgomery

83

38

Prince Georges

66

29

Prince William

103

41

Washington DC

69

36

Source: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems