We asked a number of prominent local agents their conclusions about the year that just passed and make some predictions for the future. Today, we have Tom Gretz from national real estate brokerage Redfin.
Tom Gretz, Redfin
What neighborhood saw the most change this year?
The SW Waterfront. More buyers flocked to this area this year in anticipation of a new DC destination. After many years of planning and deliberations, the redevelopment of the Waterfront is finally underway. Recent news about building a D.C. United stadium in Buzzard Point will only spur more interest and make SW a true destination in its own right.
Sum up 2014 in three words.
D.C. Retail Rising. Retail in D.C. has recently seen an explosion. This has been a+ missing variable to the making of a great city, and the District made significant headway in 2014 with new mixed-use developments at City Center, 14th St. and NOMA for example.
Biggest building trend in 2014?
Builder grade condominiums. With the explosion of multi-family developments, more developers are shifting to small, garden-style condos.
Trend you'd like to see go away in 2015?
Overbearing lending restrictions. In October, Fannie and Freddie announced they will loosen some lending requirements, which should have an impact across the market and make it easier for buyers to get financing.
Any predictions for 2015?
First-time home buyers will try to jump back into the market. I think many first-time buyers experienced some fatigue from a competitive market, but they'll be back in 2015. Rental rates for multi-family properties will soften.