Jan 29, 2022 - Real Estate

D.C.'s top 2022 real estate trends

Illustration of a front door to a house with a door knocker and the number 2022 on it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

 ​​👋🏾 Paige here! It feels like I’ve written this sentence quite a few times in the last six months, but it’s still true: Demand is high and supply is low in D.C.’s real estate market, and as a result, competition and prices are up too. 

The big picture: So far D.C.’s 2022 real estate market has picked up right where 2021’s market left off — sellers are still in control. 

Here are the real estate trends we’re watching:

The return to downtown

Once again, the pandemic will help shape this year’s real estate market. The spread of COVID-19 had pushed people to the suburbs, causing downtown condos and businesses to suffer.

What’s happening: A return to downtown started slowly in 2021 and could continue in 2022.

  • “I expect to see a move back towards downtown as people are pushed back into their offices,” real estate agent Cameron Shosh tells Axios.

Plus, multi-family housing vacancy rates are low in the District, and a high number of multifamily buildings are expected to deliver throughout the region in 2022.

Yes, but: Size matters. Real estate agent Christine Walker says her clients returning to downtown want space and city living. As a result, studio and one-bedroom condos aren’t selling well. 

Rising interest rates

Many 2020 and 2021 buyers jump-started their home buying journeys to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

Rates are expected to rise, pushing buyers to prioritize finding a home earlier this year.

Be smart: Shosh says every half-percent interest rate increase impacts buying power by 5%.

  • “When you look at our average price points, that can be a big deal,” he says. “So I think It’s definitely motivating buyers to get out there right away.”
Perfect pricing

While 2022’s market is still in  seller’s hands, they’ll have to make sure the price is right to avoid sitting on the market for too long.

The intrigue: Buyers are hyper-aware of the market competition and of the number of homes that go for more than asking. As a result, most won’t put in an offer if they can’t afford the list price. 

“Over pricing in this market is a real detriment,” Shosh tells us. “If somethings on the market for two weeks in D.C. it’s like, ‘oh wait a minute, what’s wrong with it.”’

Zoom in: The perfect pitch matters too. Realtors are working hard to expertly stage homes that now serve as schools, gyms, workspaces and restaurants.

“I don’t believe that we want the same things anymore, Walker says. “We are going to have to be really creative about showing the space as a real home. Not just a place with a bed.”

What say you? Are you in the process of buying or selling a home?

  • Email me at [email protected] to share your experience with navigating our pandemic market.
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