The Trump bump to Washington’s luxury housing market continues. When Trump administration officials arrived in 2017, they scooped up high-end homes, and paid handsomely for them. Those sales helped reset prices in this market.
Although sale prices in 2018 didn’t match the levels of 2017, they were higher than in previous years. Last year’s top sale — the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid $43 million for a McLean estate — set a record for the highest sale price for a residential property in Washington.
Mark Lowham, chief executive and managing partner of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, was the listing agent on the property. It’s the second year in a row he’s represented the seller in the region’s top sale. In 2017, he sold another McLean estate for $35 million.
“What we’ve done is effectively raise the ceiling on the entire market,” Lowham said. “I think you’ll see more runway across all price points when you do that, but particularly in the upper brackets.”
Both sales were on Chain Bridge Road in McLean, known locally as the “Gold Coast.” Some might wonder what it is about that part of Northern Virginia that commands top dollar. Another Gold Coast estate, owned by the late James Kimsey, is on the market for $63 million.
“That stretch of the Potomac River, and the natural geography there, is stunningly beautiful,” Lowham said. “I think that’s one reason. The second one is terribly obvious, but it is an incredibly convenient location.”
The Saudis clearly are enamored with McLean and its environs. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also purchased a piece of land on Chain Bridge Road for $20 million last year, giving it five consecutive properties along the road.
They weren’t the only foreign buyers active in the luxury market in 2018. The Slovak Republic bought a Kalorama house, and the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal acquired a house in Kent.
“I think by global standards [Washington] is still perceived as a pretty good value because a comparable house . . . in most global capitals, global cities, is going to be even more expensive,” Lowham said. “The people who are looking [at these houses] are familiar with those markets, and they’re perceiving significant value.”
For the first time, two condos — one in Woodley Park and the other in Georgetown — made the list, which was compiled with the help of Bright MLS and Black Knight. Maryland was left off the list for the second year in a row. Its top sale — a house in Chevy Chase that sold for $5.7 million — was nearly $2 million below the District’s fifth-place sale and nearly a million below Virginia’s fifth-place sale.
(List price $49.5 million)
700 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, Va.
9 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms.
Square footage: 23,000.
Lot size: 7 acres.
Listing agent: Mark Lowham, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
The Potomac River estate known as Merrywood was sold by AOL founder Steve Case, who bought the estate in 2005 for $24.5 million. The circa 1919 home has been the scene of opulent parties over the years, including one for President Ronald and Nancy Reagan during his inauguration. Four other presidents have been entertained there, as well as British royalty. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis grew up in the house, which was owned by her stepfather Hugh D. Auchincloss. President John F. Kennedy worked on “Profiles in Courage” in the home. The gated property has a lighted tennis court, indoor and outdoor pools, and a carriage house with parking for four cars.
(List price $22 million)
3030 Chain Bridge Rd. NW, Washington
8 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms.
Square footage: 14,774.
Lot size: 0.89 acre.
Listing agent: Marc Fleisher, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
The newly built mansion in Kent replaced the one owned by Peggy Cooper Cafritiz that was destroyed by fire in 2009. Designed by Jones & Boer Architects and constructed by Banks Development, the house blends Georgian and Federal styles. Its design was inspired by 18th-century homes designed by Sir John Nash, the British architect who created Buckingham Palace. The facade comes from a plate in the book “Parallel of the Classical Orders of Architecture.” The columns, entablature, casing and arches echo the Theater of Marcellus in Rome. It took 216 tons of Indiana limestone to build the house.
(List price $16 million)
1191 Crest Lane, McLean, Va.
7 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms.
Square footage: 20,000.
Lot size: 3 acres.
Listing agent: Jason G. Mandel, Washington Fine Properties.
The Chateau Blanc Mansion is a newly built home by American Luxury Mansions. The three-story, stone manor has five fireplaces. The property includes a detached pool house and a five-car garage.
(List price $10 million)
2430 Wyoming Ave. NW, Washington
6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms.
Square footage: 6,770.
Lot size: 0.23 acre.
Listing agent: L. Patrick Chauvin, Compass
The 1925 Kalorama house, once owned by Politico founder Robert Allbritton, was purchased by Zach Leonsis, a Monumental Sports and Entertainment executive and son of Ted Leonsis. Designed by George T. Santmyers, the house was renovated between 2010 and 2015. It has an orangery, a sunroom with skylights, a billiards room, a theater, library and in-law suite. The property includes a pool, sun deck, fountains, patios and four off-street parking places.
(List price $9 million)
2227 Penny Lane, The Plains, Va.
6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms.
Square footage: 2,092.
Lot size: 333 acres.
Listing agent: John Coles, Thomas & Talbot Real Estate.
Oakendale Farm was the hunt country estate of the late philanthropist and conservationist Mary Sayles Booker Braga. When it was first put on the market in 2015, the 837-acre property was listed at $33.5 million. Designed by William L. Bottomley and built by W.J. Hanback in 1938, the stone manor was remodeled in 1985 in the French style. The property includes a guesthouse, a farm manager’s house, several barns, a greenhouse, a five-car garage and a swimming pool.
(List price $8.2 million)
2660 Connecticut Ave. NW, PH2, Washington
3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms.
Square footage: 4,400.
Lot size: N/A.
Listing agent: Miriam R. Fernandez, McWilliams Ballard.
For the second year in a row, a penthouse in the recently renovated Wardman Tower in Woodley Park was on the list of most expensive homes sold. In 2017, another penthouse in the building went for $8.4 million, making it the most expensive condo ever sold in the District. This penthouse has a spacious living area, a fireplace and a library. The master suite has two en-suite bathrooms. A private roof terrace overlooks the city. The monthly condo fees are $6,296 and include amenities such as concierge services and a fitness center.
(List price $14 million)
3150 South St. NW, PH2A, Washington
4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms.
Square footage: 6,145.
Lot size: N/A.
Listing agents: Christopher Ritzert and Christie-Anne Weiss, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
The two-level condo at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown has rough stone walls in the foyer, blue limestone floors in the living room and kitchen, warm wood floors and woven wallpaper in the family room. Large panes of glass in the master suite offer stunning views. A floating circular stairway leads to the second level, which includes an office suite, wet bar and two terraces. The penthouse has 3,000 square feet of terraces and roof gardens. Four parking spaces and two storage units are included. Monthly condo fees are $9,360.
(List price $10 million)
3053 P St. NW, Washington
9 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms.
Square footage: 6,100.
Lot size: 0.22 acre.
Listing agent: Ellen M. Morrell, Washington Fine Properties.
Built in 1875, the Second Empire house is on a corner lot in Georgetown’s East Village. In 2013, when it sold for $7 million, it was the ninth-most expensive home sold in Washington. The house has 13-foot ceilings, elegant molding and woodwork, a wood-paneled library, five fireplaces, an elevator and lower-level staff quarters with a separate entrance. The property includes sprawling terraces, landscaped gardens, a swimming pool, a side driveway and a one-car garage.
(List price $7.5 million)
1901 24th St. NW, Washington
5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms.
Square footage: 6,930.
Lot size: 0.11 acre.
Listing agent: L. Patrick Chauvin, Compass.
The 1926 Federal house in Kalorama was sold by former Obama adviser Steve Rattner to the Slovak Republic. The home was renovated by New York-based architecture firm Ferguson & Shamamian. Its grand rooms with high ceilings and ornate woodwork are ideal for large-scale entertaining. The property has a circular driveway, a two-car garage and a flagstone terrace.
(List price $7.4 million)
The Mediterranean-style house in Kent was built in 2002. The home has 10-foot ceilings, four fireplaces, a wine cellar, balconies, terraces and an attached two-car garage. The expansive grounds include a swimming pool and a detached art studio. The buyer was the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.