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Walkable Washington, D.C. Becoming a Highly Valued Housing Market

Improved mass transit, car and bike shares, and telecommuting are all elements taking part in a new generation’s outlook on work and life as the world becomes more conscious of how energy is used to get around town. Younger adults, such as those in the Millennial group, are now preferring to live and work in urban cores where access to work, retail and entertainment is just a short train or bike ride away.

In an effort to spread a better understanding of this trend, Smart Growth America in conjunction with George Washington University School of Business, recently released a new report ranking the walkability of the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas. Topping the list is the nation’s capital and now its most walkable city: Washington, D.C.

The survey based its rankings on the amount of office and retail space that are located within a city’s “WalkUPs,” or walkable urban spaces. In Washington, D.C., researchers found 45 WalkUPs within the city that account for 48 percent of its new office, hotel and rental apartment square footage.

The survey also took into account the WalkUPs in the surrounding suburbs of each metropolitan area. Washington, D.C. was the only region that accounted for more than half of its WalkUPs in what the survey called “close-in suburbs.” Researchers noted strong commercial development and rising real estate values in suburbs such as Bethesda, Maryland and Crystal City, Virginia.

“Walkable, urban for-sale housing is by far the most expensive housing in the country. The range depends on the market, between 40 percent and 200 percent greater than drivable, suburban housing,” said GWU’s Chris Leinberger in the report. “Twenty-five years ago that relationship didn’t exist because walkable [cities back then] was not valued.”

Washington, D.C. Area Condos Adding to Urban Allure

In order to capitalize on this strong demand for housing within an urban core, builders in and around Washington, D.C. have been working around the clock to keep the condo market hot. In Dupont Circle, one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods for condos, co-ops and townhomes, roughly 112 homes were added this March, a 7.7 percent increase since last year.

Condos are typically built within dense urban areas near public transportation and other local amenities such as retail, restaurant and entertainment space and can do much to add to the increasingly coveted walkability that so many cities are trying to achieve.

In America’s most walkable city, this type of housing has taken off as the city and its surrounding suburbs work on becoming more urbanized centers. Five years ago, condos and co-ops in Washington, D.C. generally had the highest number of average days on the market at 194 in April 2009. In April 2014, the average time it took to sell a condo or co-op fell to a blistering 11 days.

If you are looking for a condo in Washington, DC, please allow us to help you. Our staff is well-versed in the area’s real estate and will work to find you the perfect place to call home.