the median sale price rose 1. 8 percent,
from $889, 259 to $905,000. In Silver
Spring, the median sale price was up 5. 2
percent, from $380,000 to $399,600. In
Bethesda, the median sale price rose 0.9
percent, from $857,000 to $865,000. And
in Chevy Chase, the median sale price
was essentially unchanged at $950,000.
Neighborhoods Close to Urban
Areas Are Hot
While the number of homes sold in
Bethesda declined 6. 3 percent from 2017
to 2018, demand remains high for housing near downtown, resulting in higher
prices there, too.
“The Bethesda market has changed
as the urban district has grown,” says
Jane Fairweather, a Long & Foster agent.
“Downtown Bethesda and nearby neigh-
borhoods are in the right place at the
right time now that the central desire of
downsizers, millennials and even young
families is to avoid driving long distances
With more buyers looking to leave
their cars in the driveway, it’s no secret
that the most in-demand locations are
in downtown Bethesda and adjoin-
ing neighborhoods where residents
can walk to restaurants and shops, says
Lauren Davis, an agent with TTR Sothe-
by’s International Realty.
In 2018, the number of home sales
in the 20814 ZIP code, which includes
downtown Bethesda, were flat when
compared with the previous year, but
were up 18 percent over 2014. (See
“Home Sales Trends” chart on page 174.)
During that same five-year period, the
average price of new homes in 20814
increased 15 percent to $1.2 million.
By contrast, in the 20816 ZIP code,
which is comprised of Bethesda neighborhoods west of River Road, the number of home sales decreased from 199 in
2017 to 174 in 2018 and were almost the
same in 2014 as in 2018.
While homes within walking dis-
Downtown Silver Spring—with an
tance of downtown Bethesda are in high
demand, some buyers who don’t want to
pay their increasingly costly sale prices
are turning to other walkable commu-
nities. Sales of condos are strong at Pike
& Rose in North Bethesda, which offers
walkability to restaurants and entertain-
ment but is more affordable than down-
town Bethesda, Fairweather says.
abundance of restaurants, shops and
nightlife, as well as Metro access—has
increased in popularity, too.
In downtown Silver Spring’s 20910
ZIP code, average home prices increased
4. 4 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Up north, at Crown in Gaithersburg,
new condos, townhouses and single-family homes in the Downtown Crown
and Crown West neighborhoods account
for some of the increase in home sales
and listings for that area of the county.
Nearly 540 homes have sold in Crown
since it opened in 2013, or about 100 per
year. In Crown West, a handful of townhouses and single-family homes are still
available. In Downtown Crown, 65 of the
128 condos in The Copley have sold since
sales began last spring.
New condos in Crown East from Pulte
Homes are expected to be on the market
soon. Residents can walk to restaurants,
shops, parks and activities in Downtown
Crown and the adjacent RIO Washingtonian Center, and take a shuttle to the
Shady Grove Metro station.
The Potomac Market Is in Bad
The flip side of buyers’ growing preference for walkability and access to public
transit is that neighborhoods with longer
commutes and plenty of land are becoming less desirable, at least among buyers
with deep pockets. Potomac, known for
its extravagant mansions on multiple
acres, has been losing steam for years,
according to real estate agents.
“Potomac suffers from the ‘too’s’: It’s
too far away, the houses are too big, they
have too much land and you spend too
FROM THE ‘TOO’S’:
IT’S TOO FAR AWAY,
THE HOUSES ARE
TOO BIG, THEY HAVE
TOO MUCH LAND
AND YOU SPEND TOO
MUCH TIME IN YOUR
CAR,” REAL ESTATE