DC REAL ESTATE MONTHLY MUSE
A concise synopsis of the Washington DC real estate market
BUZZ AROUND THE OFFICE
Space is becoming more and more of a premium in DC, and the trends we’re seeing as spring turns into summer are certainly reflecting that. It’s a seller’s market in the District as prices continue to climb while the number of available properties have not risen to meet demand.
The biggest example of the lack of space is the spread of pop-ups throughout Washington, DC. These renovated townhouses are 40 to 65 feet in height, often rising high above the two-story houses next to them. The benefit of such properties is that it allows two or three units within a single 4-6 story structure, and uses available vertical space to its fullest. Often these pop-ups replace blighted structures or even vacant lots, helping to bring more housing stock to neighborhoods that are lacking it. While their existence has been controversial, pop-ups are completely legal and residents of the District should expect to see more in the years to come.
Another indication of the strong seller’s market is that flippers are still making big profits. This especially holds true in Petworth, Brookland, Fort Totten, and the Stadium Armory area of Capitol Hill. In Petworth and Brookland, flippers are profiting around a whopping $300,000 on average per property. This further indicates that buying a place that needs some work might be the way to go, as you can save yourself tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of buying a property that has been completely remodeled.
Due to the rising prices in the District, many developers are choosing to hold on to properties they have fixed up. The prevailing thought is why sell immediately when the value could go up dramatically in a year or even a few months. This is making it even more difficult for potential buyers, and driving up the asking price when the property does go on the market.
A buyer needs to have a good agent to help them through the process and make sure they are not getting taken advantage of or overpaying in what is already a trying market. If you’re looking to buy a property that needs work, your best bet is to find those that need work but are in good enough condition that retail buyers can still compete. The agents here at Capital Park Realty are experts at doing exactly these things for buyers.
Bluejacket is one of DC’s newest hotspots in the craft beer scene. It is owned and operated by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (creators of ChurchKey, Birch and Barley, and Red Apron) and located in the heart of Capitol Riverfront, just a few blocks from Nationals Park. The bar features 20 draft and five cask beers, which change on a regular basis and offer a wide range of different styles and flavor profiles. Three different types of tours of the multi-level on-site brewery are available on Saturdays. The kitchen prepares an array of beer-inspired cuisine, specializing in sandwiches, salads, burgers, and appetizers. An eclectic brunch is served on both Saturdays and Sundays. The brewery has already started selling some of its beer in bottles, and a wider distribution in bottle and draft will hit the DC beer scene in the coming months. Whether you’re a beer lover or need a place to go before or after a Nats game, be sure to check out Bluejacket!
WASHINGTON, DC REAL ESTATE TREND INDICATORS
Median sales price in May 2014 was $677,061, which is up 11.19 percent from last May's median sales price. The average sales price to original list price was 99.1 percent in May 2014. That is down just 0.26% from a sales price to original list price ratio of 99.4 percent in May 2013. Pending sales were down 2.91 percent from the same time last year. The time properties sat on the market increased just 2 days, with the current average at 40 days on market. There were 1,205 active listings in Washington DC in May 2014 which is up 4.51 percent from the number of listings on the market at this time a year ago. A total of 776 properties sold in May 2014 which is up 1.7 percent over last year.
MORTGAGE RATE NEWS
Mortgage interest rates are close to as low as they’ve been throughout the last six years. After an overall one-percent rise in 2013, rates have dropped in 2014. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.19 percent in May 2014. That’s the lowest monthly rate since October 2013. There is an expected increase slowly throughout the latter half of 2014, so now may be the perfect time to buy a home to avoid the expected higher interest rates. If you're one of the lucky buyers who can lock up a reasonably priced home, your inflation adjusted interest rate is approaching zero! Continued strong demand in the DC area and a low supply of listings will likely continue to push up real estate prices in the foreseeable future.
Capitol Riverfront, also known as Navy Yard, is currently undergoing one of the largest overhauls in the District of Columbia. Bolstered by Nationals Park, the home of the Washington Nationals, as well as the expansion of the Washington Navy Yard and the new U.S. Department of Transportation, the area has been on the rise for the last few years…
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