The transformation of many local DC housing markets from affordable communities to pricey destinations has been apparent to anyone paying attention in recent years. Now, a new study illustrates the dramatic rise in housing prices in neighborhoods across the country since the year 2000.
A Trulia analysis examines median home prices over time within various metropolitan areas to rank each neighborhood in each metro from most to least expensive, with the most expensive having a rank of “1”. Overall, neighborhoods that rose the most in the rankings were near gentrifying “city centers” or were former industrial centers experiencing a lot of recent residential development.
Out of the 132 neighborhoods identified in the DC area, Bloomingdale was the DC neighborhood that saw the most drastic swing in affordability, from being only 30 spots from the least expensive neighborhood in 1998 to having the 35th most expensive housing this year. Nearly all of the other neighborhoods listed above are also well-documented in becoming increasingly gentrified over the years; for example, the H Street Corridor-adjacent Trinidad was the fourth-least expensive in 1998 and nearby Kingman Park was the 11th-least expensive neighborhood in the area.
However, a two-decade snapshot of median home prices isn’t necessarily a perfect metric in the DC region, which has data for 15 more neighborhoods now than it did in 1998 — partially a byproduct of the aforementioned industrial-to-residential evolution and rebranding of some neighborhoods (eg. NoMa, Navy Yard) and the one-time dearth of residential units or data in others (eg. U Street Corridor).
Despite several additions since 2003, the list of DC neighborhoods that experienced the biggest drop in affordability from 2008 to 2018 isn’t that much different than the list since 1998 — and none of the neighborhoods for which there wasn’t data prior to 2008 experienced comparable jumps.
Housing prices in Carver (or Carver-Langston) have followed a path since 2008 that is analogous to that of Trinidad since 1998, rising steeply after once being one of the least-expensive neighborhoods in the area. Carver is only one of three DC neighborhoods (the others being Edgewood and Kingman Park) that have experienced such a dramatic rise in housing prices at any point over the past 20 years while retaining a median home price lower than the citywide median ($596,000 as of last month).
The top 25 most expensive neighborhoods in the DC area have pretty much shuffled rank consistently over the past 20 years, with Berkley, Spring Valley, Kent and Kalorama respectively ranking as 1-4 since 2003.
Trulia’s study gathered median home values every 5 years from 1998 to 2018. While the report uses percentiles to standardize intra-metropolitan area comparisons, UrbanTurf used rankings alone because the DC area is the sole focus of our analysis. The analysis didn’t adjust older median home prices for inflation, but here is a calculator for those that want to re-adjust the 1998 or 2008 prices.