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GDoN Revisited by Hipchicindc – 455 Q Street, NW

by Prince Of Petworth April 5, 2013 at 11:00 am 17 Comments


Hipchickindc is a licensed real estate broker. She is the founder of 10 Square Team and is affiliated with Keller Williams Capital Properties. 10 Square Team is a popville.com advertiser. Unless specifically noted, neither she nor the company that she is affiliated with represented any of the parties or were directly involved in the transaction reported below. Unless otherwise noted, the source of information is Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is the local multiple listing system. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 455 Q St NW
Legal Subdivision: Old City #2
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Old City #2
Bedrooms: 3 Baths: 2 1/2
Original List Price: $749,000
List Price at Contract: $749,000
List Date: 2/28/13
Days on Market: 3
Settled Sales Price: $755,000
Seller Subsidy: $0
Settlement Date: 3/29/13
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Original GDoN post is: here.
The listing can be seen: here. To see pics, click on the camera icon after opening the link.

Upon first glance, I was a bit surprised by the price for a house without a basement in this location, but after researching a bit, see that this is a Nantucket Holdings renovation from 2012. Even outside of this crazy short supply/high demand market place, Nantucket Holdings properties often sell for a premium. Nantucket Holdings sold the property in March of last year for $690,000. You can see the original virtual tourhere.

Continues after the jump.

I have no idea why the recent owner sold within such a short period of time, however, it is further testament to the intensity of the conditions of the current real estate market to see a literal appreciation of nearly 10%. It is also worth noting that the O Street Market development is well underway this year, in contrast to last. Even when development is highly anticipated, often the prices of real estate surrounding a project don’t seem to see the effects until it really starts to take shape. We also saw this around Columbia Heights a few year years ago.

The listing agent was Mark Schacknies of DCRE. The purchaser was represented by Ira Hersh of Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc.

  • Anonymous

    the renovation was done very well. I still can’t believe how small it is for $755K… The housing market has ballooned way above comprehension for me… I bought my place in Bloomingdale in 08 and can no longer afford my street. I’m amazed. I looked at a place over on Q before settling in Bloomingdale and a house almost identical to this was almost $300K less… it was renovated with a basement for possible rental as well…. I’m shocked at what 5 years can do

    • Fear not Anon, the party is already over.

      DC’s housing market has been driven the past 3 years by two enormously effectual catalysts. Population growth, and cheap money.

      The Fed has already committed to ending the free money gravey train by the end of this year as they then start to steadily increase. Them. Affordability decreases by ~$50K or so for every point increase in the mortgage rate, so when rates climb from the ~3.5% to 5.5%, your average homeowner just lost ~100K in purchasing power.

      The mad DC population growth was 66% driven by the poor national economy, and the crazy local one due to massive increases in federal spending. DC’s population grew at a steady 400 residents per month during the boom times of DC’s urban renewal during the 2000-2008 period. Since 2008, DC’s population has been growing at 1200 people per month, 3 times what it had seen just a few years before, and it is already declining as of last qtr 2012.

      Point being, anyone paying these prices now, is catching a falling knife. Traditionally solid neighborhoods will get some price declines followed by a long period of non-price growth. Less traditional, more “transitional” neighbohoods are going to feel quite a bit of pain.

      • Anonymous

        I have no doubt there will be ups and downs in the local housing market and the local economy. Perhaps very significant downs. But I tend not to trust someone who is so specific about what will happen in the future – the future is hard to predict with specificity, and those who try are often wrong.

        Certainly the DC housing market could collapse because of increasing interest rates, decreasing population gain, or decreasing federal spending. Or a violent crime wave could sweep the city – driving gentrifiers out. Or North Korea could bomb downtown DC with a hither-to-closely-held-secret long range missile.

        On the otherhand, DC’s population may continue growing thanks to changes in economics and culture that make more and more people want to live in the center of cities, or because there are still easy gains to be realized by improving governance and infrastructure, because the long-term trend for federal spending is upward, or because a new government (in a few years) or a new crisis could lead to increased spending.

        Bottom line, no one actually knows which direction things will go for certain. And if they do know, they should be out making money off that knowledge, not posting on PoP.

      • Anon X

        you are consistently so pompous, I’m not even sure why I am responding, but you are extremely misleading on this topic.

        When interest rates go up, it *might* result in significant declines in home prices. It is possible that because the prices are a function of constricted supply that declines wont be significant, if at all, because the number of buyers will still drive demand up and support prices. In this scenario, price appreciation could be slower than it would be if rates stayed low.

        Also, when rates go up, the effect will be a constant. As a result, your statement that some neighborhoods get hit and others dont is total bullshit. If the cost of 100k goes up in Shaw, it goes up in Chevy Chase too.

        Regarding population growth, urban cores will continue to grow over the long-term. 1 quarter doesnt make a trend. Even an entire year doesnt make a trend, since the urban migration has been in the works for 2 decades.

        The potential for an enormous future glut of rentals might have the effect of peeling buyers away, but we really dont know.

        In short, there are way too many variables to know what is going to happen. However, if you’re paying the same for a house in Shaw as one in close in Capitol Hill, there might be some dissonance there.

        • Anony,

          As someone who has lived through 3 boom/bust periods here in the District, and 5 national boom/busts since I bought my first place, the specificity comes from seeing the exact same things happen, over and over again.

          Housing market dynamics are as predictable as the sun.

          Locally, you only have to look at Trinidad. It was supposed to be the poster child for urban gentrifcation. Its median house price doubled between 1999 and 2005. Then it dropped 30% in the next 2 years and stagnated for another 2 after that. Trinidad just regained its median house price late last year that it had in 2005. This despite being in the center of the most robust housing market on the east coast.

          Loudoun County, the nations richest county 5 of the last 8 years saw its median house prices drop nearly 40% from 2006 to 2009, while its population increased 22% during the same period.

          I have no doubt DC will continue to add population, but 2000 to 2008 was the healthiest DC’s economy has been in 30 years (absent national depression) and even then it was only growing at 0.7%. Then the worst recession since the great depression hits, uncle Sam spends/commits 4 trillion dollars to fighting it and within 6 months DC’s population growth triples. That had everything to do with crisis, and nothing to do with the Districts fundamentals. DC’s more realistic metric is ~.3%.

          And yes, I’ve made quite a bit of money off real estate the past couple of decades.


          Yes, as I said above prices are in part a function of supply. When the supply dwindles, so will the price. When that happens in concert with the downward price pressure of increased borrowing costs, the price decline is far more pronounced. See textbook examples above (Loudoun County / Trinidad). And yes, despite what you think, the connection between interest rates, housing affordability and housing prices is very linear and well documented since…well, since these statistics started being kept in the 1930’s. We aren’t breaking new ground here.

          The fundamental rule of real estate is there are no new paradigms. Everyone keeps telling themselves during every boom period that “it will be different this time”. Not once have they been correct.

          I am not saying increased rates won’t affect tony places like Chevy Chase, but you are confused as to the mechanics of affordability and price.

          Why are prices in Georgetown more expensive now than Shaw? Easy, beecause more people want to live there then can live there. The neighborhood is nicer, schools are better, crime is less. There are a hundred different reasons. It is those same reasons that buoy the price in some neighborhoods and not in others. Location, location, location. As affordability decreases, demand for less proven, more transitional real estate declines.

          Its been proven in every housing market in the nation during this housing boom/bust and every one before it.

          “Even an entire year doesnt make a trend, since the urban migration has been in the works for 2 decades”

          I don’t know where you’ve been living but DC’s population has only been increasing since late 2000, or 12 years.

          No, there aren’t too many variables. As I said before, there is no new paradigm with housing. It reacts the same way to the manipulation of a scant few fundamentals. But feel free to be one of those people who thinks otherwise. Don’t say I didn’t “tell you so” when it bites you in the face.

          • do you realize that within a couple of decades georgetown and dupont were both notorious slums?

          • So Georgetown was a slum when Senator JFK took up residence there during his first term in office with his new bride, Jackie Bouvier, in the 1950s?

            Dude, you’re stretching a bit here.

          • Georgetown gentrified during the New Deal. It was the Columbia Heights of the 30s :)

            Dupont gentrified in the 70s I believe. A history of the Cairo condo building gives you a good idea of how that area evolved over the years.

          • Anonymous

            Right, so going by your predictions, Dupont should return to being the sh*thole that it was in the 70s. I don’t see that happening unless we decide to burn half of DC.

          • Georgetown was probably nice in the 50s, so was Anacostia, it did get pretty slummy in the early 70s due in part to “white flight” which occurred after the ’68 riots.

            DuPont was much sketchier when there were 4x as many bike couriers hanging out there prior to 9/11. In the mid 90s you would have thought there were no open container laws there and it was a really good place to score drugs.

            This region’s love affair with the suburbs seems to be over. With our height limits and old rowhouses there is a relatively small number of homes to be had in any given area. I’m sure the bubble will deflate but I don’t see it bursting without another riot or drug epidemic.

            This is my opinion as a native Washingtonian who works in real estate.

            As an aside, the federal gov’t is not entirely responsible for our growth. Private sector growth has been the real story of the last 15 years. My recollection is that we have gone from 40/60 private/gov’t to 60/40.

      • anon +1

        not true. The Fed has committed to keep rates low through 2014. Even then, rates aren’t going to rise by 100 basis point at a time.

  • Anonymous

    No basement, but it does have a garage with what appears to be a studio above it, so it has that going for it. Can’t say I think it’s a great deal, but then again it doesn’t surprise me either.

    Do you think prices will continue to rise in the coming future? They have risen at a high rate very quickly, so it does make me a tad uneasy. We luckily bought our house before things got out of control, but we’re thinking about investing a good sum of money in renovating and I don’t want to overdo it in case the market takes a downturn.

    • Anonymous

      Over the next 10-15 years, I’m sure that the prices will increase in much of DC. How much? That depends.

      What happens in the interim is much harder to predict.

  • This was a good looking job. The carriage house styled garage is pretty cool. I’d love one of those in my back yard! Kudos to them for making above list on the sale…

  • anon

    $565/sq. ft. On that block of Shaw. Amazing.

    We were also lucky to buy in Bloomingdale at the little dip in housing after the crash. Even with massive appreciation in the short term (I have no doubt we could list at 50%+ our purchase price in this market EASILY based on recent comps) we couldn’t afford to move anywhere else in the city because it’s all gone up!

    I don’t agree that you’ll see too much regression in the “transitional” neighborhoods. Lots of people who bought are going to be there for a LONG time as long their mortgages are affordable; inventory will still be tight. There may be a bit of stasis set in, but it’s not as if whole areas are going to backslide.

    • Anonymous

      +1. This is exactly the problem. I get excited about how much my property value has gone up, but prices have gone up everywhere so I could never afford to buy anywhere else!

  • Anonymous

    I tend to agree with Joker about the dim outlook of DC real estate, it just doesn’t seem plausible in the short term. A year ago we could have gotten our house for $50-75 less, but not $100-200 like some neighborhoods closer to downtown (Eckington, Shaw). With that said, if you would have told me I would own a house that cost that much 5 years ago, I would have laughed in your face, and the reason is solely due to the insanely low interest rates.

    Gotta give props to the seller for flipping an already flipped a year later and STILL making money on it, even with the transactions costs. Gotta love DC


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