News & Politics

Spring Real-Estate Guide: Where Homes Are Selling Fast

Across the Washington region, properties aren’t sitting on the market for long. But in these six neighborhoods, where homes sold in less than 10 days, buyers have to be particularly quick.

In Arlington’s 22205 Zip code, this Craftsman-style home sold in 3 days. Photograph courtesy of Jane Jensen/Century 21 New Millennium.

In 2013, there were 26 Zip codes where homes sat on the market for less than ten days; in 2012, there were none. That figure is astonishing in itself, but consider this: Of those 26 Zip codes, 18 were in Northern Virginia. And of those 18, 14 were in Fairfax County. It’s fair to say that last year, homes sold faster in Fairfax than anywhere else in the region. For this section, we highlighted the fastest-selling Zip code from each Northern Virginia county where homes sold in less than ten days.

North Springfield, 22151
Median days on market: 6
In late January, a two-bath Cape Cod sold in two days. That’s quicker than the typical sale in this neighborhood, but not by much. In southern Fairfax County, the 22151 Zip code straddles the Beltway and includes part of 493-acre Lake Accotink Park. Neighborhoods—such as Kings Park, North Springfield, and Leewood—are filled with midcentury homes, many in good condition. Agent Susan Metcalf says the area draws married couples in their thirties with young kids: “You can get a single-family home for under $500,000. In other places, that gets you a townhouse.”

Arlington, 22205
Median days on market: 7
In between Ballston and Falls Church, this section of Arlington still has a quiet, residential feel—and that makes it popular with buyers looking for single-family homes with easy access to Metro and the restaurants and shops along the Wilson Boulevard corridor. Prices start in the $600,000s for an older Colonial or rambler and can climb above $1 million for a new or renovated Craftsman-style house. Agent Kristin Kelly says some sellers are shocked when she tells them to expect credible offers within a day or two of listing: “The demand here has never wavered.”

Chevy Chase DC and Barnaby Woods, 20015
Median days on market: 8
In the District’s upper Northwest corner, Chevy Chase DC and Barnaby Woods are about as leafy and idyllic as you can get while still qualifying as city neighborhoods. Buyers come for the area’s stock of pre-World War II detached houses as well as access to the District’s best public schools, including Lafayette Elementary and Deal Middle School. Agent Kimberly Cestari says a shortage of inventory is driving the competition. She recently listed a three-bedroom house on 33rd Street for $1.03 million on a Thursday and had it under contract by Wednesday.

Del Ray, 22301
Median days on market: 8
Wedged between the crowded streets of Old Town and the cookie-cutter development of Potomac Yard, Alexandria’s Del Ray offers a genuine neighborhood—but only to buyers who are quick to write a check. “You’re making a huge financial decision, but if you wait for the open house, it might not be available,” says agent Jen Walker, who sold 43 homes last year in the 22301 Zip code. The quick clip of sales also led to a lot of bidding wars: Of the 255 homes that sold in 2013, 89 went for above list price.

Navy Yard, 20003
Median days on market 8: Navy Yard
A decade ago, the neighborhood surrounding the Navy Yard in Southeast DC was filled with public housing, warehouse dance clubs, and crumbling industrial buildings. Today you’ll find glassy office and apartment buildings, new parks, buzzy restaurants, a baseball stadium—and a blistering real-estate market. Prices have increased by 15 percent since 2010, and of the 477 sales last year, 220 went for more than the original list price. (The Zip code also includes Capitol Hill’s Southeast side.) Navy Yard has added more than 1,200 condos and apartments since 2009, with thousands more in the pipeline. Agent Ryall Smith calls it “a total rebirth.”

Bethesda, 20816
Median days on market: 9
Just northwest of DC, this leafy slice of Bethesda includes such sought-after neighborhoods as Westmoreland Hills, Sumner, Woodacres, and Brookmont. Many of the homes are Colonials built in the early and mid-1900s. Buyers pay top dollar to be part of the highly regarded Walt Whitman high-school “cluster,” then stay for the easy commutes to downtown DC and access to local treasures like the C&O Canal and the Capital Crescent Trail. “We get a lot of people moving within the area,” says agent Joe Faraji.

Click to view a larger version.