COVID and D.C’s Real Estate Heatwave

Source: Pierre Blaché

Washington D.C is the center of America’s political world. Home to presidents, representatives, and senators, D.C is also America’s 20th most populous city.

Not just known for the political drama, D.C is a fast-growing city that has a lot to offer. With proximity to numerous great suburbs, a variety of massive corporate global offices, and some of the world’s best museums, the nation’s capital is a hotspot for many reasons.

Even in the most economically strained portion of COVID, which was the first lockdown, homes in D.C were coming off the market faster than normal…

In 2020, D.C had to face down the same crisis the rest of the world was dealing with as COVID struck America in record numbers. The economic implications of this were drastic, as the stock market initially tanked and many lost their jobs or were furloughed. While on Capitol Hill, decision-makers were attempting to reign in the damage, many in D.C and all around the country struggled. Yet one area that was not struggling, in D.C and many other large cities around the country, was the real estate market.

Even in the most economically strained portion of COVID, which was the first lockdown, homes in D.C were coming off the market faster than normal, and at a higher price than normal. According to The Washington Post, in April, regional home prices hit a 10-year high for the month, with a median sale price of $507,000. This trend continued all through the summer, as July was a particularly hot month for the market.

In July, the median sale price continued to balloon, all the way up to $530,000. This was up 13% compared to July of 2019, and 5% compared to June of 2020. The prices weren’t just up, the number of sales was too. The number of sales in July 2020 were 6.8% higher than those of July 2019 and were 17% above June of 2020.

One of the big reasons for the increase in sales is because of the extremely low mortgage rate right now. Mortgage rates continue to break record lows due to COVID anxiety giving investors concerns, which has caused bond yields to fall.

This gives homeowners a serious window of opportunity to grab the house of their dreams at a lessened mortgage rate. As well, the desire for homeownership has increased due to the fallout from COVID. Many people are desiring bigger spaces due to lockdown-induced claustrophobia, as well as work from home.

Work from home allows people to live where they want, with proximity to work not the same factor it was before. As well, it has also given people more desire to have a nicer office space so they can maintain productivity. According to the Washington Blade, “Zoom rooms” have become a trend amongst homeowners. These are aesthetically pleasing rooms that are ideal for virtual zoom meetings.

According to the same report by the Washington Blade, D.C’s housing momentum has carried over to fall, which is typically when the market tends to cool off as people hunker down for the winter. With that in mind, we can expect 2021 to continue to be a positive year for real estate in D.C.

As the COVID pandemic continues into its third calendar year, many people have changed their perspectives on what they need in a home. With demand still extremely high, mortgage rates still extremely low, and nice home space as important as ever, it is bankable that the real estate market will continue its hot streak.

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