Rising prices and quick closings are staples of Washington’s contemporary real-estate market, and a year-end summary from the listing company Redfin piles on even more evidence that Washington continues to be one of the trickiest places to buy a home. Redfin included six pockets of DC in its roundup of 2014’s “Most Competitive Neighborhoods,” more than any other US city besides San Francisco.
After a top ten dominated by Northern California, Washington first pops in at No. 12 with condo-saturated NoMa, where homes sold last year at a median price of $645,000, an increase of 7.2 percent from 2013. Moreover, homes for sale received an average of 4.4 offers, and nearly half of all listings were sold for more than the asking price. Redfin calculated its rankings based on increases in sale prices and the frequency of competitive bids, as well as other factors including all-cash offers and how quickly homes sold after hitting the market.
Following NoMa, other DC neighborhoods making the list were Hill East at No. 14, Capitol Hill at No. 16, Brookland at No. 17, Shaw at No. 20, and Petworth at No. 27, suggesting an increasingly aggressive real estate market in sectors of the District that have seen the most investment by developers and other businesses. In Shaw, for instance, the median sale price jumped by 4.4 percent last year to $600,000, with homes staying on the market for just seven days.
Redfin’s findings, which the company admits are limited to data based on its own agents’ dealings, suggest that Washingtonians looking to buy a home will need to brace with a hypercompetitive market for a while, especially when it comes to making an offer as quickly as possible. In 2012, there were no Zip codes in the area in which listings’ median lifespan was less than ten days. Last year, there were 26.
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