District’s residential property assessments grew by 6 percent

Housing in the District of Columbia is expensive.  The U.S. Census tells us that the District had the second highest median housing prices in 2013, after Hawaii.  Listing price data from the online real estate company Trulia for February 2015 also ranks District second highest among states.

Last week, the District’s tax office put in mail the residential property assessments for Tax Year 2016. The aggregated data at the city and neighborhood levels tell us the following:

  • The tax office valued the total housing stock in the District at $105 billion. 2016 assessments are more than six times the 2000 assessments.
  • On average, housing values assessed by the tax office grew by 33 percent annually for the last 16 years. There are many more housing units today in the District, so most of this growth is coming from new development. But some growth is due to the appreciation of the existing housing stock.
  • Between 2015 and 2016, assessed values grew by 6 percent (similar to the growth last year). Growth is still strong, but below its long term average.
  • Assessments increased the most in Old City neighborhoods, which include parts of Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Shaw, Capitol Hill, the U-Street Corridor, parts of Chinatown, and parts of Southwest Waterfront.  Total assessments in these two neighborhoods increased by $1.6 billion.  This change accounts for a quarter of the increase in assessed values (and it is mostly due to new housing units).
  • Highest growth in assessments were generally in northeast neighborhoods. Assessment at Riggs Park grew at 16 percent; Trinidad, LeDroid Park, and Eckington assessments grew 12 percent. Neighborhoods that grew over 10 percent (which adds Chillum, Deanwood and Woodridge to the list) added $800 million to assessed valued, accounting for 10 percent of the new growth.

Changes in map

Comparing the residential market value assessments today to those of 2000 show that housing assets are more equally distributed across the city.  In 2000, Georgetown and Chevy Chase–just two neighborhoods–accounted for 15 percent of the assessed market value in the city.  Today, they account for less than 10 percent.  Seven neighborhoods in the west of Rock Creek park, plus Old City and Capitol Hill collectively accounted for half the housing value in 2000. Today, growth in the Old City neighborhoods have balanced out the values in west of the Rock Creek Park.  Southwest Waterfront, Brookland, and Petworth also hold significant value.

Assessment Increase Long

What happened to market assessments in your neighborhood? Use the interactive tool below to see the market assessment changes between 2015 and 2016 in each assessment neighborhood.

Assessment Change bars

What exactly is this data? Tax years 2015 and 2016 data are from District’s Computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) database, aggregated for assessment neighborhoods.  The 2010 assessment data is from the real property tax database for 2001, as it was extracted in March 2001.  2001 and 2016 data are not perfectly comparable since assessment methodology was different, and neighborhood definitions in 2000 were slightly different from the definitions today, but one can draw broad conclusions.  The data presented here are assessed market values. The tax base for the District is related, but different:  the difference between market assessment and taxable assessment is the homestead deduction, but taxable assessments can also be constrained by the 10 percent cap on the annual growth in each property’s taxable assessment.

John Codd at the Office of Tax and Revenue helped with this post. (All errors belong to the author)

7 thoughts on “District’s residential property assessments grew by 6 percent

  1. Since there is a 10% cap on real property increases for DC residents; some of the assessment differences between neighborhoods could be due to the composition of domiciled owners. It would interesting to know how these assessments are being influenced by the 10% cap; it may or may not be material.


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