The rich are buying (and selling) in DC

WASHINGTON — A seven-bedroom manse on a leafy street behind the Omni Shoreham Hotel in D.C.’s Woodley Park neighborhood sold for $14 million just seven weeks after hitting the market, claiming the title of July’s most expensive residential sale in the District.

D.C.’s luxury housing market is hot.

The average price for a luxury sale in D.C. — defined as the top 5 percent of listed prices — was $2.5 million in the second quarter, according to real estate listing firm Redfin. That was 8.3 percent more than a year earlier, more than double the average gain for the bottom 95 percent of the market.

And that does not count the big bump the luxury market got in the first quarter from a flurry of luxury homes in Kalorama and Massachusetts Avenue Heights snapped up by Trump administration officials.

Who is doing the luxury buying in D. C.?

“Foreign officials tied to the World Bank and [International Monetary Fund]. The contracting industry is strong here. So there are multiple sources of luxury dollars that are feeding that market right now,” Redfin’s Nela Richardson told WTOP.

Luxury home prices are up nationwide, but D.C. stands out because of demand.

“D.C. is quite unique in the nation in one aspect,” Richardson said. “Nationwide, the pop in luxury home prices is being driven by a shortage of inventory, but in D.C., inventory is actually up at the high end by a significant amount. There is demand in D.C. at the top of the market, and it’s driving those prices.”

Seven of the 10 most expensive residential real estate sales in the Washington metro area in July were in the District itself.

But there is also negotiation at the high end of DC’s market.

While that $14 million home on Woodland Drive in Northwest sold at full listing price, Redfin says just one percent of luxury listings in D.C. sold for full price in the second quarter, compared to 40 percent of listings in the broader DC. market.

See a gallery of D.C.’s 10 most expensive residential real estate sales in July, courtesy of listing service Bright MLS.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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