Even though sales of homes in many places around the Washington area were slower than expected last year, there were encouraging signs. More homes sold in 2014 than in seven of the past eight years. The overall median price for the region rose for the fifth year in a row, to $405,750. And pockets of brisk activity continued, mainly in the District and other sought-after areas such as Hyattsville and the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.
Single-family detached homes continued to dominate sales in this region, but lately condominium sales have surged. Condo sales outpaced townhouse sales for the second year in a row.
“People will absolutely prefer a townhouse, a single-family home over a condo, but it’s about the price,” said Brian Cusick, a real estate agent with Central Properties. “It’s about what they can get for the money.”
Jennifer Myers, a broker with Dwell Residential, said that about 80 percent of her sales are condos these days.
“We focus on first-time home buyers so we do a ton of condos,” she said. “I think people are very location driven. If they want to be in Shaw or on U Street, they are willing to take less space to afford to be where they want to be.”
Keri Shull, a broker with Optime Realty, has a background in new-construction condominium sales for developers. She said it’s not just the first-time buyer who is interested in condo living.
“You’re seeing move-down buyers, people who are making lifestyle changes because they are tired of commuting and they are tired of maintenance,” she said.
For those looking for a deal, Zip code 20711, which includes Lothian, Md., was one of the more affordable places to buy. The median price for a home there was $67,000. At that price, however, you are most likely buying a mobile home. Still, the Zip code has a mix of properties, everything from homes priced between $300,000 to $500,000 to million-dollar horse and agricultural properties.
“It’s considered south county, southern Anne Arundel County,” said Jennifer Klarman, a real estate agent with Long and Foster. “It’s a green space. We don’t have the infrastructure to support a lot of interest.”
Sellers in Zip code 20783, which includes Hyattsville, did the best in the region last year. More homes sold above their list price in that Zip code than in any other jurisdiction. In an e-mail, real estate agent Lisa Ben-Shlaush of Long and Foster cited several factors for why homes were selling above list price. She noted that the Zip code borders Northeast Washington and is a convenient commute into the city. Houses are generally small to medium in size, and affordable. The same house in Montgomery County can be almost double the cost. Some houses were built in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s and are solid brick.
“People love brick homes and they will pay more,” she wrote.
Zip code 21104, which includes Marriottsville, Md., had the biggest increase in sales last year. There were 83 homes sold in that Zip code in 2014. Good schools and good golf courses drew buyers to this area.
“People move here for schools, lack of congestion, accessibility to the roads,” said Bob Lucido, an associate broker with Keller Williams Select Realtors. “It’s a nice corridor.”
The interactive graphic is intended to give you a better understanding of what is happening in the D.C. region’s housing market and, more specifically, where you live. With the help of RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), a subsidiary of Rockville-based Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, we have broken down the 2014 housing data for the region by 234 Zip codes. RBI does not include private sales or for-sale-by-owner transactions or some new construction sales. To find out what the median price for a home was, how long homes took to sell and how much homes sold above or below their list prices in your Zip code, check out our interactive graphic above.
Homes sold in Zip code 21104 (Marriottsville) in 2014, a nearly 51 percent increase in sales compared with the previous year
Percentage of sales in Zip code 20711 that were all-cash transactions. Lothian was also the most affordable place to buy a home. Its median price was $67,000.
Percentage increase in median price for Zip code 22026 (Dumfries) from 2013 to 2014. It was the biggest price gain in the region, rising to $345,450 in 2014 from $239,000 in 2013.
$2.5 million to $4.99 million
Sales were down in 2014 in every price category except this one. There were 33 more homes sold in this price range last year than in 2013, a 21 percent increase.