Real Estate Realism or Voyeurism: What a New Study Intimates About the DC Home Buyer

by Nena Perry-Brown

Real Estate Realism or Voyeurism: What a New Study Intimates About the DC Home Buyer: Figure 1
Home in DC's "most popular" neighborhood, owned by commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.

Being able to search for homes online has become the norm for prospective home buyers. However, it has also resulted in the rise of the real estate voyeur, someone who spends hours browsing through home listings that they dream of purchasing, but will likely never be able to. A new study by Zillow may give credence to the rise of the real estate voyeur.

Real Estate Realism or Voyeurism: What a New Study Intimates About the DC Home Buyer: Figure 2
Most popular DC neighborhoods based on average views per listing. Click to enlarge.

The study looked at markets across the U.S., analyzing the number of times listings in different city neighborhoods were viewed on the real estate company's website during the first quarter of 2018, and then deemed the neighborhoods with the highest number of page views to be a city's most popular. What the study concluded in DC was that some of the most popular housing markets in the city are also home to DC's most expensive homes. Woodland-Normanstone Terrace is identified as the most popular neighborhood in DC, for example, but it is one that many city residents probably couldn't find on a map, and carries a median home price of $3.5 million. Kalorama, Kent, Georgetown and Berkley, neighborhoods with median home prices in excess of $1.5 million, round out the top five. 

There is good reason to be skeptical toward the conclusion in the analysis — or perhaps rethink how you define "popular". Could it be that most of the page views on Zillow stem from curiosity and the desire to live vicariously through luxury home listings than a realistic desire to buy a home in these areas? 

The report concedes as much: "While this doesn’t show a likelihood that more people will be buying homes and moving in, it does show how many people wish they could, or are curious about the neighborhood."

Here is another theory. There are two neighborhoods that have become home to DC's version of a celebrity in the last couple years, including various members of the Trump cabinet or bold face names like President Barack Obama, Jared and Ivanka Kushner and Jeff Bezos. Those neighborhoods are Woodland-Normanstone and Kalorama, the top two neighborhoods on Zillow's most popular list for DC and probably near the top of the list for real estate voyeurs across the country. 

See other articles related to: zillow, woodland normanstone, kalorama

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/real-estate-realism-or-voyeurism-what-a-new-study-intimates-about-the-dc-bu/13940

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 »