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Opportunity at the Top: D.C.’s Million Dollar Housing Market Continues to Grow

Million $ Housing Market

Last year, we wrote about how the number of million-dollar homes in D.C. have nearly tripled over the last 10 years. By the end of 2018, about 28% of all homes in D.C. were priced over one million dollars.

New data has emerged that suggests our million-dollar home market is even hotter than we originally reported — and that it’s only poised to grow further.

In this article, we investigate a few key data points from the high end of our 2018 housing marketing, including the increased value of our most-sought-after properties the overall growth in our million-dollar market, and how our greatest 2018 price growth has emerged where you might not expect to find it.

A Big Boom in the Upper End of Our Residential Market

Let’s start with a quick look at the extreme top of our market.

In 2018, the five highest priced home sales far exceeded the five priciest home sales in 2017:

Upper Bracket Chart

But the growth at the upper ends of our housing market extended well beyond the sale of a few mega-priced properties. In Q3 of 2018 alone, our market sold 6.4% more million-dollar-plus homes than it sold in 2017 (1,047 vs 984). In addition, these million-dollar properties sold faster in 2018 than in 2017 (48 median days on market vs 52), and they also sold at a higher percentage of their original list price this year than last.

Now, it isn’t all positive news. The median list price for D.C.’s million-dollar homes did decline slightly year-over-year, from $1.349 million in 2017 to $1.325 million in 2018.

However, as Urbanturf astutely noted, and as our next data support, this decrease in median sale price likely is not due to any real price depreciation in our existing million-dollar home market. Instead, the median price likely decreased because a greater number of neighborhoods crossed the million-dollar median home price threshold in 2018, weighing down the median.

As we’re about to see, our new million-dollar neighborhoods did, in fact, just squeak over the finish line.

D.C.’s Growing Volume of Million Dollar Neighborhoods

In 2018, five new D.C. neighborhoods reported a median home listing of at least one million dollars. Our new million-dollar neighborhoods are:

  • Crestwood ($1,059,380)
  • Friendship Heights ($1,038,670)
  • AU Park ($1,031,310)
  • Chevy Chase ($1,011,640)
  • Foxhall ($1,004,060)

With these new entries, 16 out of our 115 total neighborhoods are now million-dollar neighborhoods. This figure becomes even more impressive when compared to national averages. In the U.S. as a whole, only 3.6% of neighborhoods have a median list price over one million dollars. In D.C. 13.9% of our neighborhoods are million-dollar neighborhoods, nearly four times the saturation as the national average.

And one last piece of data suggests this number will only rise.

Where Our Biggest Price Appreciation Appears

Here are the eight D.C. neighborhoods that experienced the greatest price appreciation in 2018:

Price Appreciation Chart

Notice a few things.

First, only one of these neighborhoods was already a million-dollar neighborhood.

Two, it’s clear that West End— which jumped 25%, from $799,900 – $998,000 in 2018—is likely to become our next million-dollar neighborhood.

Three, the majority of these fast-rising neighborhoods are still far off from becoming million dollar neighborhoods, suggesting that we still have plenty of neighborhoods on their way to entering the million-dollar club over the next few years, and that—despite our shift towards a wealthier—there is still substantial opportunity for investment in the lower tiers of our market.


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