Sale? Purchase? We asked the top real estate brokers in Georgetown
The Georgetown: What do you think are the most important trends in the Georgetown real estate market for 2022?
Tom Anderson and Dana Landry, Washington Fine Properties: Given the shortage of homes for sale, homes that are priced correctly, presented correctly and in good condition will sell quickly with multiple offers. Property presentation is key, as buyers are looking for properties that have been renovated and are in “move-in” condition. Price is extremely important because if the house is too expensive, it will sit and end up selling for less. Prices will continue to rise, but not at the same rate as in 2021. There is also a market for properties to renovate with our pool of developers.
Carla Labat, Chief Broker, Georgetown Long & Foster: There is an upward price trend of over $5 million, with a scarcity of stocks below $5 million.
Michael Rankin, Managing Partner, Tutt, Taylor, Rankin-Sotheby’s International Realty: Demand for all price ranges is very strong, and I expect that to be consistent for next year.
David Howell, Co-Managing Broker for the McEnearney DC and Maryland offices, CIO and Executive VIP of the company: Georgetown outperformed just about every neighborhood in DC in 2021, and we expect the same in 2022. There was a 26% increase in the number of homes sold compared to 2020. Overall, DC sales increased 12%. Similarly, the increase in average sale price was twice that of the city: Georgetown’s average price increased by almost 10%, while DC increased by 4.6%. Georgetown homes sold 20% faster than in 2020; It was a very strong year. But the biggest story, as we are now one month into the new year, is the lack of inventory. We are already seeing the return of several offers.
Gtown: For home buyers looking in Georgetown, what advice would you give?
Labat, L&F: Prepare for higher prices and multiple offers, especially under $4 million.
Anderson and Landry, PAM: It is imperative to work with an agent who is connected to the market and has advance notice of homes that are “off market” and/or coming on the market soon. Being pre-approved by a reputable lender and being prepared to pre-inspect the home so you are comfortable eliminating all eventualities is a necessity in today’s market.
Howell, at McEnearney: Patience and perseverance. I guess that’s really two tips! With the lack of inventory, this can be a very frustrating time for buyers, and as is the case across the region, buyers have returned to the market sooner than sellers. Be prepared to act quickly, and if you don’t succeed on the first, second or third attempt, remember that there will be more listings on the market as spring approaches. Hang on.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Ask an architect who understands period homes to look at the house with you so you can better understand how to make any customizations or improvements.
Gtown: For home sellers looking in Georgetown, what advice would you give?
Anderson and Landry, PAM: Again, the presentation of the property is essential. Working with an agent who has the knowledge and resources to prepare your home for its best is key. Strategic property pricing is also important to generate the most interest and generate multiple offers.
Labat, L&F: Make sure your home is in spectacular condition to stand out with the predicted increase in properties for sale in the upcoming spring market.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Have a qualified home inspection before showing your home. Make any repairs a new owner would want.
Howell, at McEnearney: If selling is in your plans for this year, do it as soon as possible. Buyers are hungry for choice, and now is a great time to put your home on the market. But price and condition still matter.
Gtown: Could you give us an idea of who is buying homes in Georgetown right now?
Howell, at McEnearney: It’s quite amazing that, despite an average selling price of over $1,500,000, over 40% of purchases are made in cash. Georgetown continues to attract power players from Washington, and those buyers are getting younger and younger.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Anyone who appreciates a strong sense of community and enjoys historic homes.
Labat, L&F: Georgetown attracts buyers from major markets across the country who come for business and Capitol Hill, as well as international buyers who invest in the stability of the housing market in our nation’s capital.
Anderson and Landry, PAM: Georgetown has always been an extremely popular area for shoppers of all kinds. Many Georgetown residents move into the village to get more or less space or different features. Additionally, the city lifestyle of Georgetown attracts empty nests from our neighboring suburbs.
Gtown: Do you have any other ideas or comments that you would like to share with our readers?
Anderson and Landry, PAM: These are unprecedented times and there has never been a better time for our clients to sell, especially given today’s low capital gains tax. Some sellers worry about where they will move after the sale, and we have learned from experience that there are always opportunities for buyers in any market.
Howell, at McEnearney: The lower-end condominium market in the district continues to be quite sluggish and this is the only general property category in the area where there is a relative balance between supply and demand. Elsewhere, there is a critical shortage of stocks. Mortgage interest rates are still near historic lows, but they are starting to rise. As we have seen in the past, when rates start to rise, buyers who were sitting on the close rush into the market before rates get too high. This exacerbates the low inventory situation, which is why it’s an incredibly good time to sell.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Washington has a lot of great neighborhoods. Georgetown is rich in history, culture, parks and a very strong sense of community. My family and friends love to call it home.
Labat, L&F: Georgetown has everything one would want, from architecture to culture, restaurants, retail and people watching. What more ?