With the start of a new presidential administration in the nation’s capitol comes a stream of new team leaders and lawmakers who all need one common thing – a place to stay.
An influx of Trump administration members and Republican lawmakers has resulted in increased demand for premium housing in Washington, D.C., creating a spike in price for even a modest abode.
Prices in D.C. were already high, and now are skyrocketing for high-end homes close to the city, including Capitol Hill. Some new House and Senate members are having trouble finding affordable housing that is close to their offices. This is forcing some lawmakers to take up residence in their offices.
According to Freddie Mac, while demand has risen, supply has narrowly outpaced it. Freddie Mac predicted, “Washington, D.C. will continue to see an elevated amount of new supply despite higher forecasted vacancy rates in 2017 relative to the historical average.”
With the rental market heated and among the priciest in the nation, a growing number freshman legislators have elected to simply sleep in their offices.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is among the lawmakers to have set up cots in their offices to gird for an expanded work schedule in 2017.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., owns a home in the shadow of his senate office. The three-bedroom, three-bath 3,000-square-foot residents is work $1.7 million, up more than $20,000 over the last month.
Washington home values have gone up 5.6 percent over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.5 percent in 2017. The median list price per square foot in Washington is $488, which is higher than the Washington Metro average of $210.
Overall, prices, sales and contract signings for home sales all hit 10-year highs for a January in the Washington metro.
Listing service MRIS said the median price of a sale that closed in January was $390,000, up 3.9 percent from a year ago. It was the highest January median sales price since 2007.
According to MRIS, sales volume across the D.C. metro was nearly $1.5 billion, up 19.5 percent and closed sales were up 11.5 percent from a year earlier, the highest January level in 10 years.
Data also indicated that there currently are more sellers coming to market, though inventory throughout the Washington region remains tight in the first two months of 2017.
And while prices increased in Washington as a whole, some areas in the city fared better than others.
“D.C. continues to show the strongest price gains in the region, though at a somewhat slower pace than in 2015,” Terry L. Clower, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, told the Washington Post. “The Maryland suburbs, collectively, saw home prices increase at a faster pace compared to 2015, which is perhaps an indicator that the market is solidifying for some of the submarkets devastated by the foreclosure crisis. Northern Virginia housing markets, on average, saw very modest gains in 2015, though anecdotally there are highly competitive neighborhoods.”
While getting living space in the shadows of your office may prove to be a challenge, if you are willing to commute, you can live well while working in Washington, D.C.