DC Auction Sees Huge Turnout, High Bids

by Will Smith

DC Auction Sees Huge Turnout, High Bids

The DC government must be very pleased with how its home auction turned out last Friday. The auction, which included 30 dilapidated residential properties that Mayor Fenty had labeled “neighborhood eyesores,” saw a huge turnout — non-bidders were turned away at the door — and grossed almost $5 million, according to the Washington Post. The buying frenzy was a welcome contrast to the housing market lethargy reported in the media on a daily basis.

When UrbanTurf arrived at the auction site five minutes before it was set to begin, the line was over 130 people long, packing the building’s lobby. It inched forward slowly, and thirty minutes later, the line still had over 100 people in it. Coordinators eventually announced that only actual bidders would be allowed in (no sightseers), so unless you had a certified check for $10,000, you wouldn’t be making it in. Only a few people left following the announcement, suggesting that most people had the appropriate funds in hand.

We were sightseers but stayed in line anyway, having met someone with a certified check who generously offered to claim us as his business partner. However, when we finally reached the security entrance at 3pm, only check-holders themselves were allowed in.

Following a few conversations that UrbanTurf had with people in line, it became clear that many were eyeing the same properties. A handful of row houses in Ledroit Park and Columbia Heights had potential to be restored to beautiful properties. (We highlighted those in our post announcing the auction last week.)

Neither auctioneer Alex Cooper nor the DC government have posted the winning bids on their websites, but according to the Washington Post properties sold for a low of $35,000 to a high of $400,000. In general, prices were driven much higher than people in the audience had expected, especially since many of the properties are going to need a lot more money for renovations.

If you were at the auction and know what any of the properties sold for, please let us know.

Past coverage of the auction:

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_auction_sees_huge_turnout_high_bids/507

1 Comment

  1. tom veil said at 5:33 pm on Monday February 2, 2009:

    I was there and yes, it was overwhelming.  A place I wanted to bid $140k on went for $380k (plus a $19k transaction fee).  The legal contract requiring the buyers to renovate the houses seemed pretty strict, too, so it’s pretty safe to say that DC is going to have homes for about 100 more people by next year, not even counting the fact that the government is using the proceeds to build low-income housing.  I hope DC has more of these in the future—once a building becomes truly abandoned, it makes all the sense in the world to get it back into shape ASAP.

Comments are closed.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾