Swarming Investors Push Home Prices Up in Anacostia

by Shilpi Paul

Good Hope and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE
Good Hope and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE

When we recently revisited our Neighborhoods of 2015 article, Nate Guggenheim provided some intriguing statistics regarding Historic Anacostia. Specifically, he noted that the highest priced home sale this spring in the neighborhood jumped to $430,000 from $385,000 a year ago, while the average sales price increased from $174,089 to $186,690 during that period.

The numbers are pretty dramatic, and Guggenheim went so far as to say that Anacostia is a “potential goldmine” for investors. That piqued UrbanTurf’s interest, so we decided to investigate the neighborhood a bit more. What we found seems to indicate that investors are indeed looking into Anacostia for opportunities…and are already making money.

Irene Dubrovina has been buying, renovating and reselling homes in the U.S. for almost a decade, and turned her attention to the District when she moved here two years ago. During that time, Dubrovina has been purchasing foreclosures and fixer uppers in areas like Trinidad, Anacostia and Prince George’s County, renovating them and selling them to young families and professionals. Recently, she sold two homes in Anacostia and sees the neighborhood getting “scrubbed up.”

“Every boarded-up house is being rehabbed,” Dubrovina told us. “The biggest problem right now is trying buy the fixer uppers. There is that much competition.” In fact, because the market is so competitive, Dubrovina had to buy her next three projects in nearby Fort Dupont Park. “I would gladly buy a house in Anacostia if I could get my hands on one!”

Dubrovina bought both the Anacostia houses she recently sold for $75,000 apiece and sold them at a profit of almost three times the purchase price. One of the buyers grew up in Southeast but left because it was too rough. After getting an education, becoming a professional and starting a family, the buyer came back with the hope that the area will blossom.

“They may not necessarily like it 100 percent the way it is now,” Dubrovina said of the people who have moved in recently. “But they want to get in while the area is still affordable.” And affordable it is. While prices have increased, Historic Anacostia has single-family homes available in the $250,000 to $350,000 range, a price point unheard of in much of DC. Folks who are priced out of neighborhoods further to the west are eager to believe that Anacostia, which is about ten minutes from Capitol Hill, will one day be appealing.

Retail-wise, the neighborhood has a ways to go, but a few organizations and businesses are actively working towards filling out the historic center along Martin Luther King Boulevard and Good Hope Road. UrbanTurf recently sat down with ARCH Development, an organization that is driving development in Anacostia through the arts, and Andy Shallal, the owner of Busboys and Poets, has expressed a serious intent to open another location in the neighborhood. Just yesterday, Housing Complex reported that two vacant seafood restaurants in the area just found buyers.

According to Darrin Davis of Anacostia River Realty, even Congress is investing East of the River; Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich and his wife recently bought a home in Hillcrest, just to the east of Historic Anacostia.

“His wife loves the area,” Davis told UrbanTurf, referring to the neighborhood with the common tagline ‘DC’s best kept secret.’ “There is so much positive buzz about Anacostia that people are realizing that it’s a hidden gem in DC.”

See other articles related to: investment properties, historic anacostia, dclofts, anacostia

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/investors_swarming_into_anacostia/5684

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