DuPont Circle is one of the neighborhoods that anchors the entire District of Columbia. When people think of DC, they think of the National Mall and the international, blended character of DuPont.
Exploring DuPont, you’ll find a chic menagerie of bistros, boutiques, bars, and museums (plus Embassy Row). It’s known as DC’s cosmopolitan center, the hub of gay life and a cross-section of a small town and a big city, which is why it made our list of best investments on the red line.
Thinking of investing in DuPont Circle? Here’s what you need to know before you start looking.
1. What’s the DuPont Neighborhood?
The DuPont Circle neighborhood is the neighborhood built around and named for one of DC’s famous roundabouts.
The neighborhood is well-known among DC residents for its high concentration of embassies and think tanks, as well as a half-dozen galleries and centers of cultural and intellectual life.
It’s home to the Phillips Collection, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Brookings Institute, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and the National American Jewish Military History Museum, among others. Oh, and don’t forget that vibrant stretch of 17th street famous for gay-owned businesses.
On the neighborhood level, it’s comprised of four districts: the Dupont Circle Historic District, the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District, the Sixteenth Street Historic District and the Strivers’ Section Historic District. It runs between K Street NW and 15th Street NW, bookended by Rock Creek Parkway and Florida Ave NW.
2. What’s the History of DuPont Circle?
DuPont Circle is a beacon of internationalism in a famously international city, bustling at all hours with diplomats, office workers, tourists, and clubbers. It’s one of DC’s signature neighborhoods, with a rich history to boot.
The neighborhood is named for Civil War hero Samuel Francis Du Pont. Once upon a time, there was a statue of the man himself in the circle, but people didn’t like it very much.
So, in 1921, Du Pont’s family packed the statue off to Delaware and bankrolled the installation of a fancy fountain to take its place, commissioned by sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon (yes, those are the same men behind the Lincoln Memorial).
Before Du Pont was shipped north, in the early 1900s Gilded Age, DuPont Circle was rather less international. What’s now known as Embassy Row had a telling name: Millionaires Row.
That’s because back in the day when people couldn’t crack into the New York social circles, they came to DC to be big fish in a small pond–at that time, DC was still a fledgling industry town that happened to host the nation’s government.
3. Is Housing in DuPont Circle a Good Investment?
In 2019, DuPont Circle was named one of the 20 hottest neighborhoods to buy a home. That’s due in large part to the quality of the neighborhood and the walkability.
In DuPont, residents love the fact that you can step out of your front door and get to where you want to go within three to five minutes. And if you need to go further afield, there’s a metro stop smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood on Constitution Avenue.
That said, DuPont is definitely on the higher end of the housing market, along with Logan Circle and Georgetown. Northwest neighborhoods like DuPont get the most attention and construction, but your rental yields aren’t necessarily the greatest compared with Southeast neighborhoods like Shipley Terrace and Anacostia.
4. What’s the Average List Price for a House in the Area?
Once you look at the average home listing price, you can understand why.
DuPont is a highly competitive housing market, currently weighted in favor of sellers. You need at least $300K to break into the market, though Redfin the average home price is around $465K. Higher-end homes can sell for $1 million or more.
Then again, that depends a bit on who you’re getting data from. Some place the median asking price at $637K, with townhome averages soaring to $1.7 million and single-family homes priced at an average of $1.39 million.
And if you think that’s enough to spook other potential buyers, think again. Most homes get multiple offers and go pending in 33 days, usually for 1% below the list price. Hot homes can sell at the list price and go pending in just 10 days.
It’s worth keeping in mind that DuPont houses offer the feel of a small neighborhood with the walkability and transport access of a major urban center. You can have a backyard and a parking space and still be within minutes of city attractions.
5. What’s the Average List Price for a Condo in the Area?
If you’re just looking for a condo without the added features of a backyard or extra level, your price tag isn’t much more affordable.
As of this year, the median asking price for condos in DuPont is around $475K, with most homes selling for an average of $415K.
6. When is the Best Time to Buy?
For house sellers in DC, the busy season is April 1 to April 15, when homes sell six days faster for $3,800 more.
Even if you’re a buyer, it’s still a good idea to try to move before DC summer arrives. Summertime in the District is notoriously humid, and with schools out and Congress on recess, many homeowners leave in the summer months for a vacation residence.
Ideally, you should look in the springtime or in the fall, when the weather isn’t bitterly cold and the summer heat and humidity haven’t settled in yet. That said, transplants tend to flood into DC in election seasons prior to November elections, driving up the demand for housing.
Thinking of Investing in DuPont Circle?
If you’re thinking of investing in DuPont Circle, there’s no better time to hop into one of DC’s hottest neighborhoods.
Whether you’re looking for a leasing team, a property manager, or a sales representative, we’re proud to offer high-quality real estate services to clients who demand the very best. If you’d like to talk about investing in DuPont, get in touch today to start the conversation.