DC’s Hottest Sellers’ Markets in Columbia Heights, Penn Quarter, and Adams Morgan

Prices are up, inventory is down, and the average home takes less than a month to change hands, according to a leading real estate firm.

By: Benjamin Freed

Looking to unload a house or condominium with a short turnaround time and for more than the asking price? Sellers in Penn Quarter, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan are in luck. Those neighborhoods led DC in home sales last month, according to new statistics from Long & Foster that re-affirm the District's status as a very hot housing market.

The median home sale citywide last month was $517,000, a 15 percent increase over the same period in 2012, with several neighborhoods charting median sale prices at greater than 100 percent of listings. In Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant, the median sale was $569,000, another 15 percent bump from last year. On average, sellers in those neighborhoods received 103.5 percent for what they put their homes up. And and the listings went quickly, too, with houses and condos lasting an average of just 19 days before being snapped up. The citywide average was 29 days.

Adams Morgan and U Street were not far behind, with homes in those nightlife-filled neighborhoods going for 101.8 percent of asking prices. But the rate at which housing prices increased was much slower—the median sale price was $471,000, up just 1 percent from last year's figure of $465,000.

The greatest leap in median price came in Penn Quarter and Chinatown, where the median of 76 units sold in July was $592,000, a 38 percent jump from the $428,000 figure posted a year before.

Home prices were up just about everywhere else in DC, too, including Cleveland Park, where the median sale price climbed 30 percent to $732,500; Brookland, which posted a 15 percent spike to $432,500; and Anacostia and Hillcrest where the median home price increased 27 percent to $187,000.

"Homes are not only selling for more than previous years, but also they’re moving quicker than before, and these developments are clear indicators of the health of real estate in our area and the overall economy," Jeffrey Detweiler, Long & Foster's president and chief operating officer, said in a press release. (Detweiler himself lives in McLean, having moved into a $3.5 million Craftsman last year.) Houses and condominiums for sale are also becoming rarer, with active inventory throughout the District falling by 26 percent from a year ago.

Overall, DC's priciest neighborhood remains Chevy Chase, with a median sale price last month of $914,750, and Georgetown, where the median was $890,000. But Georgetown is actually one of the cooler neighborhoods, with the July median price 1 percent less than last year's figure.