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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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?
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).