I'm often asked, "How much does a X bedroom place cost in Y neighborhood? As you can imagine, there are quite a few variables that should be considered when answering that question, but a general idea of How much can I afford? is always useful. Let's take a look at what a one bedroom condo will run you in a few of DC's most popular neighborhoods: Dupont Circle, U Street and Columbia Heights.

I put together this competitive market analysis (CMA), and used a simple criteria:

  • Condos located in Dupont Circle, U Street or Columbia Heights;
  • One bedroom with one bathroom; and
  • Sold between May 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015.

Total Number of Listings

05/01/2014 through 05/31/15

We saw more inventory in Columbia Heights, where nearly 90 one-bedroom condos sold in the past 13 months. There are fewer options in U Street and Dupont, which typically leads to greater demand, thus higher prices. 

 

Average List Price vs Average Sold Price

05/01/14 through 05/31/15

Don't be fooled by the small variances between List Price and Sold Price, as a small percentage or two makes a big difference to buyers and sellers.

Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights

In Dupont and U Street, you're looking at about $400k for your average one bedroom condo. In Columbia Heights, the same unit will cost a bit less, averaging in the low $300s.

 

Low Sale Price vs High Sale Price

05/01/2015 through 05/31/2015

 I refer to this chart as the "Cost of Entry Estimate", as it gives a snapshot of the lowest priced place in each neighborhood. In Dupont, U Street, and Columbia Heights, one bedroom condos were purchased for less than $300k.  However, there are many factors that could lead a home to sell for a low price, so be sure to work with an agent who can help you better understand the market.

 

Average and Median Days on Market

05/01/2014 through 05/31/2015

All three neighborhoods are hot right now, but Dupont Circle's leading the way with average days on the market under three weeks, and median days on the market under a week!  

 

What does this mean to me?

 Mural on Ben Ali Way 

Mural on Ben Ali Way 

Buyers: If you just love these neighborhoods, then you're looking at about $400k+ for Dupont and U Street, and $330k+ for Columbia Heights. But remember, it's those little "creature-comforts" that start hiking up the price point for you...i.e. parking space, in-unit laundry, rooftop pool, more square footage, marble counters, balcony, etc. If that's what you're looking for, the high end of the market tops out around $600k.

Also, because these are condos, the data does not include condo fees, which typically range from $100-1000+ per month.  Be sure to work with an agent who can prioritize your financial goals while assisting you with your home search. More info on Condos and Cooperatives   

Sellers: It's definitely a seller's market, and properly marketed condos in these neighborhoods are receiving multiple offers. So why hesitate to sell?  

Because while the market is great as a seller, not so much as a buyer. After I sell my place, will I be able to find a home in time? I don’t want to be homeless.
— Reasonable Homeowner

This is a great point, and show's that you're thinking ahead of the game. However, there are many viable options to streamline the transition for sellers, particularly in such a strong sellers' market. Be sure to work with an agent who can provide you various options as you decide whether selling makes sense for you (not the agent).

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