Real estate sales recorded in the District last year were worth $1.6 billion. A headline Saturday referred to the wrong year.
The District recorded 9,146 real estate sales worth $1.6 billion last year, a 22 percent increase in dollar volume over 1983, according to data collected by Rufus S. Lusk & Son Inc.
The year saw new price records for a residence, for a commercial property and for a square foot of land in downtown, the real estate information service reported.
Lusk also reported a 3.8 percent rise in the number of single-family residences sold -- though with a slight decline in the average price -- and a 10.7 jump in the number of condominium transfers, also with a price drop.
Across the city, the average price of a single-family house was $115,790, compared with $116,850 in 1983. For a condominium, the citywide average was $87,985, down from $92,070.
Lusk data generally support reports from brokerages in the city that 1984 was a very good year, particularly in its early months, when interest rates were relatively low, and again at the end, when rates were declining after a mid-year rise.
Most brokers report that year-end strength has continued into 1985 and they expect the market to remain strong for as long as interest rates remain near their present levels.
Single-family houses and condominiums totaled $767 million in the city last year, while commercial sales, which include figures on apartment buildings and vacant land as well as office buildings and stores, totaled $833 million.
The Lusk data also showed a 47 percent increase in the amount of mortgage money lent in the city -- from $2.35 billion in 1983 to $3.45 billion last year. At the same time, however, the number of loans declined by 20 percent -- to 12,939 -- indicating that large residential loans and very large commercial ones are grabbing an increasing share of the market.
Lusk, based in Washington, is a real estate information and publishing company. It collects data on all real estate transfers in the District and surrounding jurisdictions. It has just issued its 1983 report on the city; reports on the larger suburban jurisdictions are due out in the coming weeks.
For the first time, the city report contains average prices of sales in each city neighborhood (see map on facing page for residential data). The most expensive neighborhood for single-family houses last year was Kalorama, which recorded 53 sales at an average price of $345,407. Georgetown was second. Some 150 sales there averaged $334,599.
Spring Valley had the third-highest average price -- $330,040 on 43 sales.
At the other end of the scale, Marshall Heights had the least expensive single-family houses, averaging $37,016 on 30 sales. Brentwood was next at $37,606 on 21 sales, and Barry Farms followed at $38,005 on 33 sales.
It should be noted that the Lusk figures are straight numerical averages of the prices of properties actually sold during the year, and as such are not comparable to the average assessment released by the city recently. The city's figures represent an attempt to show the average market value of all the property in the city, not just those that were sold.
The highest price paid last year -- or ever -- in the city for a residence was just under $3 million by representatives of Robert Bass, one of the wealthy Bass brothers of Fort Worth. Bass purchased 3238 and 3240 R St. NW, next to the Georgetown public library, from Dr. and Mrs. Robert O. Gordon.
The most expensive commercial sale last year -- also a record -- was the transfer of 1300 New York Ave. NW, a large office building, for $50 million. The building is actually valued at more than $130 million and the recorded figure was the result of a transfer stemming from the loss of the building by its Canadian developer, Daon Corp., to its lender, the Bank of Nova Scotia.
The record land sale was the purchase of 17,582 square feet near 18th and G streets NW by the World Bank for $1,194 a square foot. The property was the site of the Park Central Hotel, which the bank has razed for an addition to its headquarters.
This was one of three land sales in the city for more than $1,000 a square foot. In the others, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney S. Zlotnick and others sold 20,121 square feet at 1130 Connecticut Ave. NW to a partnership headed by Washington developer Melvin Lenkin for $1,044 a foot, and the United Mine Workers sold 25,144 feet at 15th and I streets NW to Prudential Insurance Co. for $1,014 a foot.
This year, as last, seller financing was the largest single source of mortgage money. Seller take-backs totaled $147 million last year on 1,248 loans. These loans accounted for 17.9 percent of the market, Lusk said.
Perpetual American Federal Savings Bank was the largest institutional lender, writing 321 first mortgages placed at the time of sale for a total dollar volume of $59.1 million. Of Perpetual's loans, 245 were for less than $150,000, 72 were between $150,000 and $500,000, and four were for more than $500,000.
Following Perpetual was Guaranty Mortgage with 271 loans totaling $$21.5 million, and Goldome Realty -- the leader in 1983 -- with 266 loans for $30.6 million.
On the commercial side, Lusk noted that Chase Manhattan Bank last year committed $158 million for construction financing to two District projects. The big New York bank provided $110 million for Washington Harbour, Western Development's big mixed-use project on the Georgetown waterfront, and $48 million to Lenkin's group for 1130 Connecticut Ave. NW.