Fewer people are buying homes in Foggy Bottom and West End

Media Credit: Donna Armstrong | Contributing Photo Editor

Foggy Bottom boasted 130 homes for sale by the end of December, a roughly 67 percent jump from the year before.

There were about 50 more homes for sale in Foggy Bottom and West End last month than there were a year before, according to recently released real estate statistics.

The neighborhood boasted 130 homes for sale by the end of December, a roughly 67 percent jump from the year before, according to Long and Foster Real Estate, a brokerage firm offering both commercial and residential real estate services in the D.C. area. The increase was the largest across all District neighborhoods – a trend real estate experts said may indicate that Foggy Bottom is becoming increasingly occupied by young people who do not purchase homes.

The number of houses for sale in the District in total increased by 7 percent between December 2017 and 2018, with the biggest drop occurring in Chevy Chase. Shepherd Park and Petworth saw the second-highest bump in available homes, rising by 51 percent over the same time period, according to a Long and Foster press release last week.

Over the same period, the median sale price of a Foggy Bottom or West End home dropped by 36 percent, clocking in at $480,000 at the end of last year. There were 29 houses sold in Foggy Bottom and West End in December, down 19 percent from the year before, the release states.

Larry Foster, the president of Long and Foster Real Estate, said most mid-Atlantic housing markets remain relatively the same year to year, “but D.C. is different from neighborhood to neighborhood.”

“Each area of the city is its own market where there’s a melting pot of different things happening, which just goes to show us that all real estate is hyperlocal,” Foster said in the company release.

Danai Mattison Sky, the Capitol Hill sales manager at Long and Foster Real Estate, said the real estate market in Foggy Bottom and West End is “established” and does not change unless new buildings are constructed. Sky pointed to the 2400 M Apartments and the Apartments at Westlight on 24th Street as examples of condo buildings that residents may favor instead of traditional homes.

But she said the extra options could entice more people to search for places to live in the neighborhood because they feel like the area is up-and-coming.

“That’s exciting for those that are looking into marketplaces where they feel that there are still options available or that are coming down the pipeline,” Sky said. “It’s always a positive.”

Emily Recko | Graphics Editor

Source: Long and Foster Real Estate

Chris Leinberger, the chair of GW’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, said the increase could be a “typical neighborhood turning-over” that occurs as Foggy Bottom’s baby boomers retire. He said new residents could skew the neighborhood’s demographics younger – which can be a “very positive thing” if more businesses open up to appeal to the crowd.

“If it is a turnover of a neighborhood, if this is a trend toward younger families, younger households coming in, it will rejuvenate these neighborhoods,” Leinberger said.

Kellen Curry – a second-year master’s student and the vice president of GW’s Real Estate Investment and Development Organization, a club for GW Master of Business Administration students – said the increase in available homes “makes sense” because the number of houses sold also decreased.

Houses are also staying on the market longer than they were a year ago, averaging 51 days in December 2017 and 68 days in December 2018, according to Long and Foster.

“Some of those factors, once you bring them into focus and then combine it with some of the figures that we’ve seen with inventory and active listings being at 67 percent, it begins to make sense,” he said.

Curry said the lower median sale price of homes may also encourage buyers to view Foggy Bottom as a “savvy alternative” to other neighborhoods since homes in the area are “cheaper than normal.”

“If you’ve got more people buying homes that are in the market, it adds a more stabilizing effect to the community,” he said. “People are more willing to put down roots.”

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