Last month we looked at active vs. sold listings for D.C. overall. This week, we’ll look at the median price over the past seven months for D.C. neighborhoods based on zip code.
Washington, D.C. overall experienced growth in median price from 2013 to 2014, both in July (1.90 percent) and year-to-date (4.20 percent). Keep that in mind as a background against which to view the stats for individual neighborhoods.
Who were the biggest winners and losers in the month of July? The three zip codes with highest median price growth were 20020 (Anacostia/Hillcrest + 37.80 percent), 20024 (SW Waterfront + 35.90 percent), and 20032 (Congress Heights + 22.80 percent). This is not surprising: property is still fairly inexpensive in 20020 and 20032, and foreign investors are buying it up for rent and renovation. The growth in median price for SW Waterfront is also not surprising given the imminent development along the waterfront there.
Biggest losers in July were 20008 (Woodley Park, Cleveland Park – 42.30 percent), 20036 (Downtown – 19.70 percent), and 20019 (Benning Heights, Deanwood – 18.20 percent). The figures for Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, and Downtown are not surprising given the mix of houses and apartment-style condos and coops in those areas: in any given month the median price could represent a higher or lower proportion of sold houses (more expensive) over apartment-style condos and coops.
Biggest winners for the year overall in median price growth are 20020 (Anacostia/Hillcrest again + 22.10 percent), 20005 (Logan Circle/Thomas Circle + 20.30 percent), and 2018 (Brentwood/Lincoln + 15.70 percent). We’ve already mentioned why Anacostia is hot—foreign investment. Logan Circle continues to be a desirable location for young professionals, and is still one of the markets where multiple offers on a sale or even rental property are standard. 20018 (Brentwood/Lincoln) is an area where affordable housing is still available. As gentrification continues to move east in the neighborhoods to the south of Brentwood (NOMA, Trinidad, H Street Corridor), the middle class homes of Brentwood become more attractive.
And the biggest losers in median price growth for the year overall? Woodley Park/Cleveland Park (-15.40percent) for the reasons mentioned above, 20012 (Colonial Village/Takoma DC – 4.40percent), and 20003 (Capitol Hill South). The latter two are zip codes where the median price is still relatively high ($684,000 and $710,000 respectively), so it’s not surprising for their price points to be a little soft.
What does all this mean for sellers? The answer involves a consideration of price point and median growth. If you are selling a property in a zip code with high median price and positive growth, you can probably expect a sale price close to your asking price. Similarly, if you are selling a property in an area with low median price but positive growth, you can probably expect home prices to rise, lifting yours with them. If you are selling a property in a zip code with high median price but negative growth, you can probably expect to sell your home for a price several percentage points lower than asking. If you are selling a property in a zip code with low median prices and negative growth, you can also probably expect to sell for a price several percentage points lower than asking.
For buyers, your best buy is probably in neighborhoods that fit your price qualification and with low or even negative median price growth. That’s where you are going to find your best deals.
Ted Smith is a licensed Realtor with Real Living | at Home specializing in mid-city D.C. Reach him at [email protected] and follow him on Facebook, Youtube or Twitter. You can also join him on monthly tours of mid-city neighborhood open houses, as well as monthly seminars geared toward first-time homebuyers. Sign up at meetup.com.