Washington, DC Housing Market: What to Know in 2022

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Washington, D.C., is one of our nation’s fastest-growing and most thriving areas. Not only is it the home of our nation’s capital, but it has some of the most exciting facilities in the STEM world.

The city offers rich cultural experiences, excellent schools, abundant job opportunities, and access to some of the most important parks and monuments in our country. 

If you’re considering moving to or investing in Washington, D.C. properties, it’s a good idea to know about the market here. Let’s take an inside look together on current market trends. We’ll go over some of the average statistics district wide, and then we’ll close in on the neighborhood details. Are you ready?

Average Home Values

It should come as no surprise that the Washington, D.C., housing market is relatively expensive. While the national average home value is a little more than $316,000, D.C. median listing prices are around $600,000. This works out to an average of $541 per square foot, almost five times the national average.

Perhaps more surprising is D.C.’s median sale price for homes: $675,000 as of this writing. As we’ll discuss more later, D.C. is a major seller’s market right now, and homes are going for way more than the asking price. To date, there are more than 2,000 homes in the market in D.C. ranging in price from $10,000 to $16.5 million, but even that could change as the year progresses.

Market Trends

As with everywhere else, the D.C. housing market has seen a boom in the last year or so. Interest rates dropped to historic lows as a result of the pandemic, tempting more first-time homebuyers into the market than ever. Many investors also took advantage of the low-interest rates to secure rental properties and other real estate opportunities.

This year, we’re starting to see the market frenzy of last summer die down some and the market return to a more normal footing. Some of the trends we’ve seen will continue into the coming months, but in general, prices are coming down and sale times are lengthening. Interest rates are going back up, and bidding wars are slowing down.

Days on the Market

In the last year, we saw houses selling in record time – sometimes in a matter of hours. In May of last year, houses were going from list to closing in 40 days, a historic low for the area. They dropped again last fall to an average of 42 days on the market after rising to 51 average days in September.

With the real estate market slowing down, home sale times are going back up. Right now, homes are spending an average of 53 days on the market between when they’re listed and when the sale closes. Still, that means homes are going under contract in less than two weeks on average, so potential buyers need to be prepared to act fast.

Rising Interest Rates

The primary factor that drove the housing frenzy of 2021 was the low-interest rates. Mortgage rates dropped to 3 percent, the lowest they can be in this country. This provided an opportunity of a lifetime for many homeowners and investors to get their dream property for much less.

However, the advent of COVID-19 vaccines has eased up some of the pressure on the market, and life is beginning to return to normal. Interest rates are now approaching 3.9 percent on average for a thirty-year fixed-rate loan. While this is still a very good rate, it’s not causing the same frenzy we saw during peak season last year.

An Influx of First-Time Buyers

One of the reasons we saw such an increase in demand last year was thanks to the influx of first-time homebuyers. Many millennials have found it difficult or impossible to afford a mortgage for the last several years. The lower interest rates gave them the shot they needed to get into a home for a price that was manageable with their student loans and other obligations.

While rising interest rates are edging some of these first-time homebuyers out of the market, we’re still seeing an influx of new buyers in D.C. This is thanks in large part to the wave of young professionals working in STEM fields. These industries pay well enough that their employees can afford mortgages in the D.C. area.

Continued Inventory Shortage

Although the market is slowing down, it is very much staying a seller’s market. Right now, there aren’t enough homes to go around, which is part of what accounts for the high sale price. Buyers are getting into bidding wars trying to be the person to snag the perfect house when it goes on the market.

That continued influx of new buyers we mentioned is still outstripping new housing production in the D.C. area. We’re not seeing enough homes coming on the market to support the demand as thousands of people look to move into or invest in the Washington, D.C., real estate market.

Continued High Prices 

We’ve mentioned that home prices are beginning to come down some as the real estate market slows down, and that’s certainly true. We’re seeing houses selling for closer to list price and general market values declining a little. However, in terms of housing market averages, prices are still high, even for the D.C. area.

In February 2019, homes were going on the market for around $589,000 and selling for about $550,000 on average. Within a year, that price had skyrocketed to a list price of $625,000 and a sale price of $643,000, and by February 2021, homes were still selling around $641,000. The current $675,000 sale price is still well over $100,000 more than the standard market price for homes in the D.C. area.

Rental Market

While first-time homebuyers make up a significant portion of potential buyers today, investors have also been very active in the D.C. market. Renters account for more than half of residents in D.C., and most rentals cost more than $2,000 a month. This can be a very lucrative area for investors who are looking to get involved in the real estate market. 

It should come as no surprise that some of the most active rental neighborhoods are around D.C.’s universities. The Foggy Bottom neighborhood near George Washington University and the West End has more than 200 properties available to rent as of this writing. Many of these properties may be apartments or condos, so keep that in mind when planning your purchase.

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is one of the more popular neighborhoods in the D.C. area, as well as one of the more affluent. Home prices there average around $900,000, selling for about $615 a square foot. As of this writing, there are more than 300 homes for sale and another 200 up for rent.

Capitol Hill is situated on the southeastern corner of the D.C area, north of the Navy Yard and the U.S. Navy Museum. The neighborhood does offer stupendous access to the U.S. Capitol and the rest of the national mall. In fact, you can walk to the Library of Congress in less than ten minutes, and you can get to the Capitol building in less than fifteen minutes.

Georgetown 

Georgetown is by far the most affluent neighborhood in the D.C. area, with homes averaging around $1.6 million dollars there. These homes are relatively large for D.C., averaging around 2,000 square feet at $775 a square foot. There are currently about 80 homes for sale in Georgetown and almost 100 available to rent.

Georgetown is on the western side of D.C. on the north bank of the Potomac River. It’s west of Dupont Circle and Kalorama Heights, as well as the West End. Georgetown University sits within the Georgetown borders, and George Washington University isn’t far.

The White House is a thirteen-minute drive away, and the Tudor Place Historic House and Garden is situated in the district, too.

Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights is a relatively middle-of-the-road neighborhood for D.C., with home prices averaging around $682,000. They list a little below average for the district, with the square footage price sitting just over $600 a square foot. There are currently nearly 300 homes for sale in Columbia Heights and another 200 up for rent.

Columbia Heights is in the center of Washington, D.C., north of Dupont Circle and Downtown. Although it’s a little farther away, it’s a straight shot south to the National Mall, an eleven-minute drive away. You’ll also have easy access to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and nearby Howard University.

Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle is one of the best-known neighborhoods in D.C, as well as one of the most affordable. Homes here average just $464,000 with a $650 average cost per square foot. As of this writing, there are almost 200 homes for sale and about the same number of rental properties available.

Dupont Circle is in the beating heart of D.C., just north of Downtown and skirting the National Mall. In fact, from some places in DuPont Circle, you could easily walk to the White House or any of the other historic sites on the National Mall. The beautiful fountain at the center of the neighborhood’s namesake traffic circle is also always worth a look.

Petworth

Petworth is something of an upscale neighborhood in Washington, D.C., with home prices averaging around $754,000. The per-square-foot price is around $650, however, meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck. There are a little more than 150 homes for sale, but just 70 rentals on the market.

Petworth is a little north of D.C.’s center, just northeast of Columbia Heights. It’s close to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, as well as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. And it’s still about a fifteen-minute drive from the National Mall.

Logan Circle

Logan Circle is another of D.C.’s more upscale neighborhoods, with houses averaging a little less than $750,000. Homes here are more expensive per square foot, however, averaging around $675. There are a little less than 200 homes available for sale as of this writing and about the same number up for rent. 

Logan Circle is a little northeast of Downtown, just west of Dupont Circle. It offers easy access to D.C.’s Chinatown and is just a few minutes’ walk from the White House and the National Mall. Logan Circle also offers a fabulous old-timey charm that history-lovers will delight in.

Adams Morgan

Adams Morgan is on the affordable side for D.C. neighborhoods, with home prices averaging around $537,000. Homes do tend to be a little smaller, averaging under 1,000 square feet. There are about 100 homes for sale right now in Adams Morgan and only a few more than that available for rent.

Adams Morgan is due north of Dupont Circle and just east of Kalorama Heights. Its northern edge bumps up against the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, making it the perfect spot for animal lovers. There are also other parks in and around Adams Morgan for people who want the convenience of the city and the beauty of a natural escape. 

Learn More About the Washington D.C Housing Market

Washington, D.C., has a thriving housing market that currently favors sellers. Houses are selling for over the asking price and for more than ever before. No matter your budget, you can find a home that suits your needs, whether you plan to own or invest.

If you’d like to learn more about the Washington D.C housing market, check out the rest of our site at Nomadic Real Estate. We offer leasing management, sales, and, most importantly, peace of mind.

Learn more about our real estate sales services and get a custom plan for your rental property’s success today.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.