Updated: Jan 19, 2022
Glover Park row house prices rose 9.5% in 2021, an increase of over $100,000, to $1,183,000 on average compared to 2020 (see chart below). Home prices have risen in the neighborhood in 8 of the last 10 years despite record high inventory (yes, high inventory, not low). A record number of homes (69) turned over last year, about twice the level of the doldrums in the few years after the financial collapse and the highest number of sales in over 20 years. The illusion of “no inventory” results from the fact that most houses in Glover Park (and most of DC for that matter) sell almost immediately after they go on the market, if not before, with some people even buying “sight unseen.” We use more scrutiny in shopping for a sweater, yet this is the reality buyers still face if they want to get a house.
Sellers have been bringing in the bacon, and often putting a few more bricks in their pocket than they expected, as a number of houses last year sold hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking prices all the way up to a high of $1.7 million for a newly renovated corner house. Continued rock-bottom interest rates have allowed buyers to obtain the cheddar as cheap as Cheez Whiz these days. In Economics 101 we learned that high supply would mean less cabbage, if demand has not kept up, yet demand for Glover Park houses has not abated and even accelerated in 2021. Houses sold on average in a mere 9 days, with only 7 of the 69 houses staying on the market for more than 10 days. The means most sold effectively immediately when a date was set, and the majority got multiple offers. Prices in Glover Park now have risen 32% in the past five years. Sounds like a lot of clams, but compare that to the inflation we are experiencing for food, energy, travel, education, contract services, and more.
What accounts for such high demand? Low interest rates and easing lending standards are at the top of the list. Low or no down payments are possible again, interest-only loans, appraisals that rarely miss despite the run-up, and more (yet the easy money is not available to all). The persistent Covid fear continues to drive some people to do whatever it takes to get out of apartments/condos and into a house. The popularity of Stoddert Elementary and the relative affordability of the houses compared to other NW neighborhoods continue to be positive factors. The demand for “pop-ups” which gives people more space in the form of a third floor also has boosted home values. For the past few years owning a Glover Park house has been cheaper than renting, yet that imbalance now has evened out with the average monthly bill around $5000 all-in which is a little higher than the average rent.
Condo sales did OK, though not eye-popping numbers like the house sales. One-bedroom condo prices pulled back a little bit, dropping from $325K to $308K (-5%) though the number of sales went up from 45 to 57, implying healthy demand. The one-bedrooms did take almost twice as long to sell in 2021, rising to an average of 52 days on the market, up from 25 in 2020. Two-bedroom condo sales did a little better, rising slightly to $505K from $494K on average though only 18 of them sold, compared to 31 in 2020.
I was not able to work in Benjamins, biscuits, bones, coin, Franklins, greenbacks, rack, rock, or smackers, so I’ll save that slang for next year when Glover Park home prices hit $2 million (“two rock”).