Overview of the Commercial and Residential
Real Estate Market in District of Columbia


A large proportion of the population in the District of Columbia lives in the city of Washington. Of the 658,893 people living in the DC area, 646,449 live in Washington, according to the U.S. Census. The median home value is $445,200. The homeownership rate is just over 42 percent and the percentage of people living in multi-unit structures is 62.3 percent. The median household income in DC is $65,830, and 18.6 percent of people live below the poverty line. There are approximately 263,649 households and 296,719 housing units. The 2,608 sales in February of 2015 is a 0.7 percent increase over the sales for February 2014. Much of that activity was from the sale of townhouses. Activity in that segment of the market increased by 13 percent in last year, according to Real Estate Business Intelligence.

The vacancy rate of class A office space in the District of Columbia dropped from 9.9 percent a year ago to 9 percent in the month of February 2015. Vacancy rates had reached a high of 12 percent in 2012. Landlords had been offering incentives and low rents to woo tenants. Rates currently are slightly less than $50 per square foot triple net. Industry analysts expect rates to increase by about three to five percent over the next year. Law firms continue to make up the lion's share of office space tenants. Many are not affected by the economic slowdown that impacts many other areas of the country.

Office Rental and Executive Suites in Washington, DC

How to Become a Realtor in the District of Columbia

In the District of Columbia, under the administration of the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), the District of Columbia Real Estate Commission regulates the education and conduct of real estate professionals. The Commission consists of nine board members. Seven are real estate professionals, one is an attorney, and one is a consumer member. They must all live in the District of Columbia. Applicants for a real estate salesperson license must successfully complete 60 hours of pre-licensing classes and pass the required state exams. People already licensed in Maryland and Virginia may apply for license through reciprocity after completing an approved DC Fair Housing course. Brokers and salespersons licensed in other states need to complete an endorsement application.