The D.C. region’s 2015 housing market, mapped

After a sluggish 2014, the D.C. region’s housing market rebounded last year. Sales and prices rose to levels not seen since the housing boom. More than 50,000 homes sold in 2015, the most since 2006. The median price of a home ticked up to $410,000, slightly higher than 2014’s price of $406,000 and the highest since 2007 when it was $415,000.

That’s just great, you say, but what about my neighborhood? What does the housing market look like here?

Glad you asked. With the help of RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of the multiple-listing service MRIS, we’re providing a state-by-state, county-by-county look at how the housing market did last year. For more specific information, click on our interactive charts above where we have mapped the region’s 243 Zip codes. You can view median sales price, days on market and sale-to-list price by Zip code.


DISTRICT

The median price went up 4.82 percent last year to $523,050 from $499,000 in 2014. Sales increased 3 percent to 8,216 in 2015 from 7,949 in 2014. Of those sales, 3,924 were condos or co-ops. The average price of a condo or co-op was $492,392.

“Inventory remains very low, and demand still remains high,” said Mike Alderfer of Redfin. “D.C. is becoming a city where people just really want to live.”

People may want to live in the District, but it isn’t cheap. Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase D.C. (Zip code 20015) had the third-highest median price in the Washington region. Half of its homes sold for $949,000 or more.

Despite its prices, homes were snapped up quickly in Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase D.C. (20015) as well as Southwest Waterfront (20024), Thomas Circle/Logan Circle (20005), Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan (20009), Howard University/Shaw (20001) and Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant (20010). Those neighborhoods had some of the lowest median days on market in the region, with half the homes selling in nine days or less.

It wasn’t just the Northwest quadrant that did well. Congress Heights (Zip code 20032) saw a boom in activity. Its homes sold above list price and had the biggest annual gain in sales price (up 26.1 percent to $215,000). It was also one of the top places for cash sales; 36.5 percent of sales were in all cash.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of things on the east side of the river,” Alderfer said. “People are realizing these houses are being developed at a price I can afford. It works for my commute, and there are some gorgeous houses out there as well. People who might have been priced out of other neighborhoods are saying this is a good option for me.”

Days on the market

This is a median measurement, not an average, meaning that half the homes were on the market for less time and half were on the market longer.

Rank Zip code Days on market Neighborhood
T-1 20001 9 Howard U./Shaw
T-1 20005 9 Logan Cir./Thomas Cir.
T-1 20009 9 Dupont/Adams Morgan
T-1 20010 9 Col. Hts./Mt. Pleasant
T-1 20015 9 Friendship Hts./Chevy Chase D.C.
T-1 20024 9 SW Waterfront

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

Sale price vs. original list price

The measurement, shown as a percentage, indicates how much homes sold above or below their list price in that Zip code. For example, if a home is listed at $200,000 and sells for $202,000, then its sale-to-original-list-price percentage is 101 percent.

Rank Zip code Sale-to-list-price % Neighborhood
1 20032 100.9% Congress Heights
2 20010 100.4% Columbia Hts./Mount Pleasant
3 20001 100.3% Howard U./Shaw
4 20002 100% Capitol Hill North
5 20009 99.8% Dupont/Adams Morgan

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

The median price held steady at $400,000 last year, same as it was in 2014. Sales increased 11 percent to 12,191 in 2015 from 10,976 in 2014. Of those sales, 2,741 were condos or co-ops. The average price of a condo or co-op was $276,694.

“There’s been a real drive to urbanization,” said Hans Wydler of Wydler Brothers Real Estate. “People want to be close to the action. . . . Younger families are staying in the city longer, and that has put downward pressure on valuations and property values in Montgomery County, generally speaking. Areas that tend to do better are ones with high walkability near urban metro centers — Rockville Town Square, Potomac Village, Bethesda. The closer you get to those areas the better the markets do. Homes are still selling. They are taking a little bit longer, and the price points aren’t where the sellers want them to be. The farther out you go, the more disappointment there is.”

Not every part of the county felt that downward pressure. Bethesda’s Zip code 20816 had the fourth-highest median price in the Washington region. Half of its homes sold for $897,000 or more last year.

Silver Spring (20906) had the fifth-most cash sales in the area; 36.2 percent of its sales were in all cash.

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY

Home prices increased more steeply here than anywhere else in the region last year. The median price soared 6.33 percent to $235,000 in 2015, from $221,000 in 2014. Sales increased nearly 15 percent to 9,369 from 8,157. Only 1,096 sales were condos or co-ops. The average price of a condo or co-op was $131,426.

“The market is strong,” said Desiree A. Callender of Desiree Callender & Associates Realtors. “Serious buyers are convinced the market has reached its bottom, and they’re ready to go back out and shop.”

Greenbelt (Zip code 20770), Mount Rainier (20712) and Hyattsville (20782) had the biggest jumps in median price. Greenbelt’s median price increased 31 percent to $166,500. Mount Rainier’s median price increased 24 percent to $312,000. Hyattsville’s median price increased 18 percent to $265,500.

Still, Prince George’s remained among the most affordable places to buy a home. Greenbelt (20770), Capital Heights/Fairmont Heights (20743) and District Heights (20747) had some of the lowest median prices in the region.

Homes in Hyattsville (20784) and Brentwood (20722) were selling above list price. Hyattsville (20783) had the third-most cash sales in the region; 39.2 percent of sales were in all cash.

“We needed the cash buyers to keep the market moving,” Callender said. “The majority of homes that were on the market three years ago within that affordable range needed a lot of work. Had we not had the cash buyers, those houses would just be sitting there.”

HOWARD COUNTY

The median price nudged up 1.75 percent last year, rising to $396,750 from $389,945 in 2014. Sales increased 19 percent to 4,136 from 3,472. Of those sales, 778 were condos or co-ops. The average price of a condo or co-op was $256,069.

“People were falling out of the sky to buy houses,” said Ilene Kessler of Re/Max Global. “People we had been working with for so long that were in a rush to buy. First-time home buyers were coming out of the woodwork. A lot of the movement was people selling and [downsizing]. That opened up the inventory a lot.”

Howard County’s median price surpassed its previous peak of $390,000 set in 2007. It got there through steady, moderate increases between 1 and 2 percent the past five years.

“When we fell, we didn’t fall as far,” Kessler said. “We’re not jumping back quickly either.”

FREDERICK COUNTY

The median price rose 1.32 percent last year to $268,500 from $265,000 in 2014. Sales increased nearly 19 percent to 3,841 from 3,236.

“I have noticed a lot of the distressed and bank properties are starting to slow down,” said Buzz Mackintosh of Mackintosh Realtors. “With the market rebounding, that sector has slowed down a little bit.”

Thurmont (Zip code 21788) continues to be a buyers’ market with homes there selling below list price.

“A lot of buyers are coming back into the market, what we would call boomerang buyers, ones that did short sales and had to wait for their credit to come back up,” Mackintosh said.

Mackintosh also said a number of would-be sellers who have been waiting for home prices to rise are now ready to put their homes on the market.

“People are very price conscious,” he said. “When you get down to the mid-range and then the entry-level price point, inventory is weak right now.”

SOUTHERN MARYLAND COUNTIES

Of the four counties we are lumping together as Southern Maryland — Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s — only Charles’s median price rose last year. It grew 3.09 percent to $257,628 from $249,900 in 2014. Anne Arundel’s median price slipped 1.92 percent to $307,000 from $313,000 in 2014. Calvert’s median price dropped 3.04 percent to $285,000 from $296,545. St. Mary’s median price sank 5.66 percent to $250,000 from $265,000.

Not all areas suffered declines. Lothian (Zip code 20711) had the biggest jump in median price in the region, climbing 378 percent to $320,000 from $67,000 in 2014.

Homes in this area are some of the most affordable in the region. The median price in Brooklyn (21225) was $76,900, while the median price in Indian Head (20640) was $155,000.

Buyers lured by the region’s affordability snapped up homes in Linthicum Heights (21090), Prince Frederick (20678), St. Leonard (20685) and Shady Side (20764), each of which saw huge increases in sales. Brooklyn (21225) had the most cash sales in the region; 50 percent of its sales were in all cash.

“Most of our areas down here qualify for rural development financing,” said Steve Paul of Residential Plus Real Estate Services. “That’s a motivator for people to come down here. If they haven’t been able to save a lot of money, we can help them buy homes with no down payment, depending on the location.”

Days on the market

This is a median measurement, not an average, meaning that half the homes were on the market for less time and half were on the market longer.

Rank Zip code Days on market Neighborhood
1 20712 10 Mount Rainier
2 20912 12 Takoma Park
T-3 20782 13 Hyattsville
T-3 20816 13 Bethesda
5 20623 14 Cheltenham

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

Sale price vs. original list price

The measurement, shown as a percentage, indicates how much homes sold above or below their list price in that Zip code. For example, if a home is listed at $200,000 and sells for $202,000, then its sale-to-original-list-price percentage is 101 percent.

Rank Zip code Sale-to-list-price % Neighborhood
1 20784 100.4% Hyattsville
2 20722 100.4% Brentwood
3 20783 99.6% Hyattsville
4 20706 99.2% Lanham
5 20737 99.2% Riverdale

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

ARLINGTON COUNTY

The median price climbed 4.21 percent to $560,000 from $537,400 in 2014. Sales increased nearly 4 percent to 2,881 from 2,774. Of those sales, 1,490 were condos and co-ops. The average price of a condo or co-op was $423,228.

“The entry-level and upper brackets have a little bit of breathing room,” said David Lloyd of Weichert Realtors. “Houses priced from $500,000 to $900,000 were just flying. But anything that was a little bit under that or over that tended to give you a little more time.”

Because of its large lot sizes and its proximity to the District, North Arlington (Zip code 22207) has some of the priciest homes in Washington. Its median price of $887,500 is the fifth-most expensive in the region.

While that price range is out of reach for many, those looking for short commutes often look to Arlington.

“Arlington can still appear a bargain compared to some of the areas in the District,” Lloyd said.

ALEXANDRIA

The median price rose 4.15 percent to $499,900 from $480,000 in 2014. Sales increased 9 percent to 2,475 from 2,262. Of those sales, 1,169 were condos or co-ops. The average price of a condo or co-op was $327,694.

“The city of Alexandria did a nice job of keeping affordable-housing stock,” said Sue Goodhart of McEnearney Associates. “In Arlington, along the Orange Line, they basically bulldozed everything and put up newer condo buildings. So if you want something that’s not a condo and you can’t afford $1.5 million, you can come to Alexandria and find a nice townhouse in the $500,000s.”

Homes sold the fastest in the region in the Del Ray and Rosemont neighborhoods (Zip code 22301). Half the homes in that area sold in a week or less.

Stonegate (Zip code 22311) had one of the biggest increases in sales in the region, with 130 homes sold in 2015. “It’s probably one of the most affordable places in Alexandria,” Goodhart said.

Inventory remains tight, but new developments are easing the supply.

“We have enough variety, but it is challenging because we don’t have a lot of depth in those categories,” Goodhart said. “There is a lot of new property being built in Old Town. We’re seeing people attracted to Old Town and getting newer amenities that they might not have gotten 10 years ago.”

FAIRFAX COUNTY

The median price grew 3.23 percent to $474,844 from $460,000. Sales increased nearly 10 percent to 14,850 from 13,549. Of those sales, 2,772 were condos or co-ops. The average price of a condo or co-op was $285,930.

“We have a lot of move-up buyers and a lot of military families, Defense Department,” said Amina Basic of Keller Williams.

Fairfax County is home to the top two most expensive median prices in the region. Great Falls (22066) and McLean (22101) rank first and second, respectively. Great Falls’s median price was $1.06 million, while McLean’s median price was $988,000.

“Great Falls has its own charm,” Basic said. “It’s a village. It’s a really, really great area to be in.”

But Fairfax County is not just for the wealthy. Basic says first-time buyers can afford to buy there. “Yes, you can, if you are a two-income family,” she said. “Even some millennials who make good money. Buying a condo or a townhome is still affordable.”

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

The median price increased 1.66 percent to $324,000 from $318,700. Although it has gained $117,000 since it bottomed out in 2009, Prince William’s median price remained more than $66,000 below its peak in 2006. Sales increased nearly 10 percent to 6,884 in 2015 from 6,262 in 2014.

“Prince William is becoming more and more like Fairfax from the perspective that people are moving out there because of the affordability of the home,” said William Davenport of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “Certain portions of the market allow that first-time home buyer to get into a home at a reasonable cost.”

Many buyers are attracted to all the new construction that’s taking place.

“The builders are strongly influenced in that market and continue to build at a rapid pace,” Davenport said.

LOUDOUN COUNTY

The median price held steady at $432,000, same as it was in 2014. After appreciating significantly from 2010 to 2013, Loudoun County’s median price has moderated the past two years. It went from $335,000 in 2009 to $421,840 in 2013 but has only gained a little more than $10,000 in the past 24 months. It remains $53,000 below its peak in 2005.

Sales jumped nearly 12 percent to 6,485 from 5,802, but were down slightly from 2013, when there were 6,519. At its peak in 2004, Loudoun County had more sales than the District, 9,344 to 9,006.

Many home buyers are attracted to Loudoun County because of its abundance of HOA communities. “People who are moving to Loudoun are people that are looking more for communities,” said Tom Bellanca of Dulles Corridor Real Estate. “There’s a community feel where people do things together. There’s a lot of young kids. I don’t find that there’s that same sense of community the closer in you get to D.C.”

Days on the market

This is a median measurement, not an average, meaning that half the homes were on the market for less time and half were on the market longer.

Rank Zip code Days on market Neighborhood
1 22301 7 Del Ray/Rosemont
T-2 22205 10 Westover
T-2 22305 10 Beverly Hills/Warwick
T-4 22043 15 Falls Church
T-4 22315 15 Alexandria/Kingstowne

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence

Sale price vs. original list price

The measurement, shown as a percentage, indicates how much homes sold above or below their list price in that Zip code. For example, if a home is listed at $200,000 and sells for $202,000, then its sale-to-original-list-price percentage is 101 percent.

Rank Zip code Sale-to-list-price % Neighborhood
1 22305 98.7% Beverly Hills/Warwick
T-2 22060 98.5% Fort Belvoir
T-2 22206 98.5% Shirlington
4 22301 98.5% Del Ray/Rosemont
5 20105 98.3% Aldie

Source: RealEstate Business Intelligence