(Image courtesy of RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC.)
The books are closed on 2014 real estate and it’s a good time to compare what happened in Washington overall, as well as in the city zip codes with residential property.
Overall, the median price for Washington homes in 2014 rose 5.1 percent over 2013, from $475,000 to $499,000. This figure is not as high as in previous years, but is still a respectable appreciation for any investment in 2014.
Now let’s take a look at winner and loser zip codes. The terms “winners and losers” depend, of course, on your perspective. If you’re thinking about selling a property, you will be happy to see appreciation in the median price of homes in your zip code. If you’re looking to buy, however, you may well look for opportunities in “loser” zip codes where median prices have fallen, or not risen as much. And it’s important to remember that median prices in more expensive zip codes (20015, 20007, 20016) may not rise as much (or at all) percentage-wise, but still experience huge jumps in median price dollar-wise.
So, where were the big gains in median prices? Not surprisingly, neighborhoods in Southeast D.C. showed large gains: Zip codes 20020 (Anacostia and Hillcrest), 20032 (Congress Heights), 20019 (Benning Heights and Deanwood) all showed double-digit gains, with 20020 having the largest increase (21 percent) of any D.C. zip code. Anacostia has been targeted for development by the city and federal government, as well as by foreign nationals buying up investment property.
Other winner zip codes in percentage of improved median price were 20018 (Brentwood and Lincoln) and 20016 (West End, Foggy Bottom).
And “loser” zip codes? Those include 20008 (Woodley Park, Cleveland Park), 20036 (downtown), and 20007 (Georgetown, Burleith). There might be some good bargains for house-hunters to pursue in 20036 and 20008, but even with 0 percent appreciation over 2013, median prices in Georgetown are among the highest in the city.
A final way to look at the data would simply be to compare 2014 median prices in D.C. zip codes. This is obviously a good place for sellers to start in thinking about the market value of their own homes. And for buyers, it might reveal some surprise zip codes where property just might be more affordable than you thought
Ted Smith is a licensed Realtor with Real Living | at Home specializing in mid-city D.C. Reach him at TedSmithSellsDC@rlathome.com 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.