Top 10 Hottest Neighborhoods in DC according to MRIS

Photo by PoPville flickr user Nikoo’s Photos

From MRIS:

“How We Determined the Hottest Neighborhoods:
To find the hottest neighborhoods, we looked at the median days on market for homes sold from January 2014 through April 2014. Then, we compared that number with last year’s days on market for each neighborhood. All of the subdivisions that made the cut had a median days on market of ten days or less.

2014’s 10 Hottest Neighborhoods in DC

#1 Takoma Park, Washington, DC
Takoma Park, DC is the very definition of affordable homes that are close enough inside the District to make a commute easier than one from the suburbs. This neighborhood has one of the shortest selling times—with a median days on market of just seven days (this has come down from last year when homes were selling in a median of 12 days). The median selling price is $380,000 so homes here are attractive to plenty of first time buyers. It also helps that the neighborhood has a sizable stock of row houses and single-family homes so those who want to get out of living in a condo can transition to this neighborhood without having to jump up significantly in price.

#2 Wakefield, Washington, DC
The very northern tip of the Cleveland Park is also one of DC’s fastest moving neighborhoods and with frequent bus lines, a few metro stations, and abundant retail and restaurants it is easy to see why. Officially called Wakefield, it is the triangle north of Yuma Street between Nebraska and Connecticut Avenues where homes are selling in a median of seven days. We could even say that this is one of DC’s most popular neighborhoods since sales prices have jumped up a full fifty percent in the past year. For 2013 they sold at a median of $356,000 but so far in 2014 the median sales price has been $532,500.

#3 Rhode Island Avenue NE, Washington, DC
Rhode Island Avenue is in the middle of such rapid growth it makes sense that homes there are selling in half as much time as last year. With the major development of Rhode Island Row that turned the barren stretch of land near the metro station into a walkable community it is a hot place to be. Homes there are selling in a median of just eight days, down from twenty days in 2013.

#4 Chevy Chase, Washington, DC
Chevy Chase, the portion that is in DC, is a mecca for people who want a balance between the suburbs and the city. With convenient access to plenty of retail, but with enough trees and wider streets, it meets the needs of many homebuyers for this area. Homes there are selling in a median of eight days with a median sales price of $930,000. Competition for houses is tough, with only thirty-eight active listings on the market as of the end of April (but it is slightly better than last year when there were only twenty-five active listings in the same time frame).

#5 Mount Pleasant, Washington, DC
Mt. Pleasant is the next spot on the list, with a median DOM of nine days. This has always been a popular place to live with its proximity to all that 18th Street has to offer and access to several of the city’s main driving arteries, but the housing stock is mostly row houses or higher-end condos so the prices are noticeably higher. So far in 2104 the median sales price is $620,000, which is thirty percent higher than 2013 when homes sold for a median price of $474,900.

#6 American University Park, Washington, DC
American University Park comes in next, with a median days on market of nine days just like Mt. Pleasant. However this neighborhood has increased its DOM by a few days compared to last year when properties sold in a median of six days. Three days isn’t much of a call for alarm but can probably be attributed to how much higher the price is in this part of town. With so many single family detached houses and large backyards it is a prime location for families. Prices there are at a median of $925,000 so far this year, up from $849,900 in 2013.

#7 Old City #1, Washington, DC
Of course the perennial favorite of Capitol Hill is going to be on this list since just about any list of hot real estate activity will include this very popular neighborhood (for our purposes we used the boundaries that are officially called Old City #1, which includes Capitol Hill). Its easy access to The Hill, the very family friendly public spaces, the gathering place of Eastern Market, and all the restaurants that have cropped up in the past few years make this one of DC’s most sought after neighborhoods. Houses there are selling in a median of ten days, which is especially low considering the median asking price is $664,200 (even higher than last year’s median of $625,000).

#8 Brookland, Washington, DC
Brookland has come into its own recently, especially with the Monroe Street Market complex making it more of a destination than ever before. It is just slightly behind its neighbor of Rhode Island Avenue (see above) with homes selling in a median of ten days. Sales prices there have increased considerably in the past year. The year-to-date for 2014 is $469,950, whereas it was only $378,000 last year.

#9 Cleveland Park, Washington, DC
Cleveland Park gets to make the list twice—once earlier with the northern section (called Wakefield) and now again with the more central part of the neighborhood. The main part of Cleveland Park has a median of ten days on market (as opposed to eight for Wakefield) but is coming in at a lower price range. Median sales prices here are $448,000 (compared to $532,500 for the northern portion), but that is probably because the housing stock has so many smaller units available.

#10 Spring Valley, Washington, DC
Spring Valley comes in at number ten and is the most expensive neighborhood to make our list. The median sales price here is $1,427,500 but that isn’t stopping half of the homes to sell in ten days or less. This lush neighborhood barely feels like a city with so many quiet streets and large yards so it is another one of those places that rise to popularity because it finds the balance between urban and suburban living.”

77 Comment


  • “Hottest?” Wrong adjective. So, so incorrect.

    • maxwell smart

      as someone mentioned, yes, actually “hottest” is correct. Is not saying these are the “hippest” neighborhoods – however from a real estate / housing perspective, they are where houses are selling the fastest, therefore making them “hot”

  • this list is confusing. it is clearly mixing single family residential homes with condos. obviously neighborhoods that are predominantly SFR will have higher average sales prices than neighborhoods that are predominantly condos.

    • It’s not based on sales price, it’s based on days on the market.
      I still question its conclusions. I just bought in Takoma last year. While I hope this list is right, it doesn’t feel that hot. Maybe it’s just buyer’s remorse.

      • Yeah – I suppose that would make more sense then. Even still. Why include average sales price for combined SFR homes and condo units when some neighborhoods will be weighted towards more condos or SFR homes? Seems like they should break out average price per condo and average price per home.. or even better each average price per square foot.

      • Where did you buy in Takoma?

    • Their gauge of “hot” is “Properties sell quickly.” It’s not a survey of residents or non-residents as to their perception of the neighborhood, or anything measuring (say) newly opened businesses.
      I think this is the first time I’ve heard of Wakefield and maybe the second time I’ve heard of Spring Valley.

  • People are certainly discovering Takoma DC. There are still affordable houses over by 3 Stars Brewery for under $400k. They don’t stay on the market very long but they do pop up from time to time. This is the area between the Red Line and Eastern Ave. Not a very long walk to downtown Takoma DC/PK.

  • Any hottest neighborhood list in DC without even a mention of NoMa or H Street NE is a farce.

    • I think the problem with their metric is that it doesn’t account for neighborhoods where inventory is too tight to have very many data points. So there is one or two listings for the most popular neighborhoods but those listings are those absolutely ridiculous listings that linger for years – you know the ones. So that completely skews DOM as any really telling unit of measure. In broad stroke, though, kind of interesting.

    • Any hottest neighborhood list in DC without even a mention of my neighborhood is a farce

    • Old City is H Street to Florida.

    • justinbc

      Ignoring the fact that the H Street Corridor is part of Old City, the data is there if you want to run it yourself and try to find a different statistical conclusion.

    • I think at least some of H St would be included in Old City. I live off H St and the tax records list my property as “Old City.”

  • I don’t want to crush anyone’s little heart, but Takoma park is very far from downtown. If you work close to the white house the entirety or Arlington, and part of Falls Church is closer. Not to mention taht the red line takes a huge detour to down town, while the Orange line is faster and direct.

    • Well, I feel that way about Chevy Chase, as someone that works at Navy Yard. Might as well live in the ‘burbs at that point.

    • maxwell smart

      To be fair, though, they didn’t say the commute was the fastest – rather it would be easier to commute from Takoma Park than Rockville or Reston. I’m pretty sure if someone is moving to Takoma Park, a fast commute is probably not the highest priority.

    • Not disagreeing that Takoma is far from things, but other things equal I’d much rather be on the red line. The orange line mostly goes through really bland suburbs (I’m looking at you, Ballston and Clarendon), K Street, and the Mall. The only neighborhood with any real character is Eastern Market.

      • Metro ride from Takoma to Metro Center routinely takes almost exactly 20 minutes. Whether that is really short or really long is of course a matter of perspective. On balance, I’ll take it.

        • That assumes that your residence is basically on top of the Metro. That’s not the case for most people, especially in a low-density neighborhood.

          • Exactly. One of the two biggest lies people in DC tell is how long their commute is.

          • This person didn’t say their entire commute door-to-door is 20 minutes, they said specifically the metro ride is. I believe that.

          • You’re right, of course, but it’s a useless statistic. Most metro rides are 20 minutes or less. The real question is how long does it take to get to the metro from your house, and from the metro to work? That’s what a commute is.

          • The relevant and useful information here is how long the metro ride is. No one cares how long it takes you to walk/limp/jog/bike from your house to the metro and from the metro to wherever your office is. If you know how long the metro ride is, you can easily calculate how long your commute would be. If you know how long someone’s door-to-door commute is, you also need to know something about where they live and where they work to figure out anything useful for your own commute.

          • Virtually every metro ride into DC is 20 minutes or less, unless you’re starting in Shady Grove or something. The bottom line is that it’s inaccurate to suggest that Takoma to downtown is 20 minutes. It is, but only if you live on top of the metro and parachute on to a train without ever having to wait.

          • I take no responsibility for your misinterpreting a statement about the duration of an actual ride on the Metro as implying anything at all about the amount of time it takes to walk from somewhere unspecified to the metro station.

            The same applies in any neighborhood. It takes longer to get from home to downtown via metro if you half a 15-minute walk to the Columbia Heights station (yes, this exists, e.g., those new condos at 14th & Randolph) than if you have a 10-second walk to the Columbia Heights station. The point wasn’t that Takoma is closer than Logan Circle or something–it isn’t. The point was that it ain’t exactly Pennsylvania, either.

        • Fine. Having commuted to downtown for years from a “close-in” suburb, first on metro, and later driving, and now living downtown and walking to work, I know this much: one minute, five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes — the metro sucks big time no matter how long the ride is.

    • Takoma isn’t close to downtown, but the commute is fast and easy. It’s 18 minutes on the train from Takoma to Metro Center. And I get a seat 98% of the time (I usually get two seats to myself, during rush hour). Even with all of the Red Line’s woes, the situation is worse on the western side than the eastern, because it’s a lot more crowded over there.

      • maxwell smart

        I think the situation is worse on the western side of the red line is also due to the fact that it’s the oldest portion of the metro and therefore is in worse condition and subject to problems more than some of the newer sections of line.

        • I’d thought that too. But we frequently (ugh) have switch problems near RI Ave. This translates into ridiculous overcrowding in the Dupont-Bethesda corridor (and folks waiting for 20-30 minutes to get onto a packed train). While I’ll also have a bit of a delay, I’m sitting comfortably in my own seat, having got onto the first train that pulled up.
          Having until last year commuted in from Arlington, I vastly prefer the Red Line. While the Red Line breaks down more, the trains run every 2-4 minutes during rush hour. And I can always get onto one. In contrast, Orange Line trains run every 6 minutes; at least before Rush Plus I frequently had to wait for 2-3 trains to go by before I could jam into one. While Takoma is farther than Arlington, the commute is much much easier. (Though in the case of extreme delays, I could walk to work from Arlington in an hour. Not an option from Takoma.)

      • See above concerning commuting lies. Commuting means door to door.

        • Note my use of the phrase “on the train” (and HaileUnlikely’s “Metro ride from”). This indicates that these numbers do not include walking time.

          • Or waiting time once you’re at the station. Bottom line: even if you live a scant ten minutes walk from the metro, all told your commute is at least double your estimate. Who cares who long the train ride part is?

    • Not everyone works downtown though. I work by the Navy Yard, and would never live in Cleveland Park because of the commute.

      • maxwell smart

        again, though the point wasn’t that “OMG LOL TAKOMA PARK IS LIKE TOTES CLOSE TO EVERYTHING LOL YOLO OMG!” but that Takoma Park (et al upper NW DC) provides people the have the best of both worlds – you can have a house with a yard, parking, neighborhood setting, but you are still reasonably close to the city center. Commuting is not the primary driver of someone who would choose to live in this area, and despite popular belief, the commute is actually not terrible.

    • Isn’t Falls Church the most expensive jurisdiction in the region? And Arlington’s not far behind. Someone might want a suburban-like option that’s less expensive and/or not in VA. Especially gay people, or those that simply don’t want all their taxes going to Richmond which doesn’t spend it on things that help the region.

    • Officially, the Metro ride from Takoma to Metro Center is 15 minutes. Usually it’s more like 20 though. I bike in and I love the Kansas Ave bike lane. It’s 10-15 minutes to Petworth or Columbia Heights and 25 to work near Metro Center. It’s also safe. Takoma sees much less crime that Petworth or Brookland.

      As for Arlington… Takoma is cheaper and a lot of DC residents hate Virginia.

  • Of all of the places listed here, the one that stands out is Rhode Island, NE. It just eastward of all of Bloomingdale action and just southward of all the Brookland action – so it is ripe for some movement. A grocery store like Whole Foods should consider moving in near 4th and Rhode Island, NE.

  • Just moved from Adams Morgan to Takoma last year. It doesn’t feel “hot,” but good homes do go pretty quickly. Like in AdMo we have restaurants (though not as many), shopping and a metro stop. But more elbow room and a parking space (I die). Happy to see my new hood getting recognition 😀

  • i live near rhode island northeast and its the best. i really want to see a yoga studio in the neighborhood. i like that i live so close to a metro (which is getting a third and brand new entrance on the north side of rhode island ave) for half the cost of the people who live near metros on the other neighborhoods listed here.

  • Not sure about “hottest”. I think the areas with the lowest number of days on market are naturally going to be the areas where supply is low. Mount Pleasant has an extremely low inventory due to the fact that the people living there are content and have no reason to move. Same with Georgetown. Takoma has a very limited inventory as well, for whatever reason. We were searching for a house for almost seven months and only a few desirable options came to market in the Takoma area over that time. Another major factor is pricing. If houses are under priced, then they will go in 6 days regardless of the location. Agents love to under price homes in up and coming areas for several reasons. You won’t see agents under pricing $1M houses due to the limited number of buyers. All these neighborhoods are equally as hot simply because they are located in Washington DC.

  • @DCGuy – I heard that a Whole Foods is coming to Rhode Island NE.

  • im a renter now but hope to buy soon. i look at lists like this for advice/guidance pretty frequently. all the neighborhoods on this list are ridiculously priced! homes near Rhode Island NE are the least expensive on this list and probably the best deal. also it’s close to downtown, the metro station, the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

    • I wouldn’t use this lis to determine where to buy. Hot neighborhoods are a pain because there’s so much competition and everything moves so quickly. I’d look for the neighborhoods that will be hot in a few years but aren’t quite there yet.

  • saf

    Just to nitpick – it is Takoma Park, MD or Takoma, DC. There is no such thing as Takoma Park, DC.

    • I agree that Takoma for DC and Takoma Park for the Maryland side is the most accepted usage, but it’s not incorrect to say Takoma Park to refer to the DC side either. For example, the library on the DC side is called the Takoma Park Library and the DC-side historic district is called the Takoma Park Historic District.

    • It was always Takoma Park until the 1970’s, when “Takoma” became sort of a code for Black Pride on the DC side of town (this is according to a book I read – the Maryland side was not very “racially progressive” in its early history, apparently).

      • saf

        Fascinating – I did not arrive here until the early 80s, and the usage was firmly established by then. Thanks!

  • Another flaw in this methodology is that it doesn’t represent “hottest.” It’s “most improved hotness since last year.”

    If the median number of days in an area was 5 last year and 5 this year, I’d argue it’s still hot (and was last year). But it wouldn’t make the cut, since it’s the same.

    • this is incorrect. the list specifically mentions AU Park as going from 6 days last year to 9 days this year. Reading: it’s not just for little kids anymore.

  • Houses in my neighborhood are pre-bought from developers before they’re even flipped. In the words of Paris Hilton, that’s hot.

  • What happened to Petworth? Did all of those house get sold already, or did breaking the neighborhood into Petworth vs. Brightwood Park dilute the numbers?

  • SweetEpiphany

    I’m confused about why Rhode Island Ave NE is being considered a neighborhood. The Rhode Island Row Development and the Metro are both in Brentwood, and generally Rhode Island Ave NE runs through several other neighborhoods (Eckington, Langdon, Brentwood, Woodridge to name a few). Maybe this is the start of another old DC neighborhood being renamed by realtors attempting to attract buyers. I know that Brentwood has had a bad rep in the past, but if the neighborhood is getting better why not give it some credit, instead of renaming it. Admittedly, I own in Brentwood, so I’m biased, but I just want my nabe to get some respect.

  • I love the photo of Willoughby Real Estate. When I first moved to DC in 1993, I would hand deliver my $575/month rent check to that place.

    • Now I feel old! I lived in Logan Circle in 1993. I was in college but I wish I could have bought something then.

  • No surprises, we live in an apartment in van ness- Wakefield, and absolutely love our neighborhood. The condos and apartments here are relatively affordable, its safe, close to downtown, walkable, close to the park, and has a ton of transit options. For years we knew it was one of the most underrated hoods in dc. I guess the rest of the area is discovering what we’ve always known.

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