Where the DC area ranks for million-dollar homes

Row of colorful red green and blue painted brick residential townhouses homes houses architecture exterior in Washington DC Capitol Hill neighborhood district(Getty Images/iStockphoto/krblokhin)

The D.C. metro area ranks No. 8 in the nation for share of owner-occupied homes worth at least $1 million.

A LendingTree report that ranks the 50 largest metro areas based on census data as reported by homeowners, shows 102,450 owner-occupied homes in the D.C. metro are valued at least $1 million. That’s 7.14% of all homes.

Home values in general have been rising for a decade, but D.C. in particular has some catalysts driving million-dollar homes that not all metro areas do. Median household income is among the highest in the D.C. region. And the area also has a somewhat unique cultural attraction.

“D.C. is the nation’s capital. There is a lot of history there. There are a lot of incentives outside of economic reasons for why people might want to live in that area and why people might be willing to spend a premium to do so,” said Jacob Channel, a senior analyst at LendingTree.

“Not only are there enough people who can afford to spend a million dollars on a home, there are enough people who want to spend that much money,” he said.

The median price of a home that sold in May in the D.C. metro was a record $605,000. There are communities where the median price tops $1 million, such as Georgetown and Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Buyers in that million-dollar range still have traditional lending options. D.C. is among a handful of metros with the highest cap on conforming mortgages, or those that Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac will purchase. In D.C., the cap is $970,800.

“That’s important for a variety of reasons, because a million dollars in D.C. is not necessarily a ton of money for a house. That means there will be a lot of middle-class buyers looking at these million-dollar homes, and because of that they will want the benefits of a conforming loan,” Channel said.

The most expensive home ever sold in the D.C. region was a seven-bedroom riverfront estate on 16 acres near Mount Vernon that sold in October 2021 for $48 million.

The four top metros for million-dollar homes are all in California, such as Silicon Valley for its well-paid tech professionals, and Los Angeles for its high-paying entertainment industry.

LendingTree’s full report on million-dollar homes, and rankings for the top 50 markets, is posted online.

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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