The Washington DC Commercial Real Estate Market

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Washington DC has experienced fast-paced growth and opportunity in the last decade and represents a healthy market to invest in commercial real estate. As the center of the US’ federal government and an international hub, Washington DC attracts investors and national tenants to its plentiful development and rising population. 

Crexi connects parties interested in Washington DC commercial real estate to hundreds of viable properties and the tools needed to research, analyze, and acquire the perfect fit. 

Brokers in Washington DC and those representing Washington DC property for sale also rely on Crexi to manage leads, list assets and navigate more deals to closing, all while saving time. As of this writing, Crexi’s commercial real estate tools have assisted brokers in closing more than $300 billion in commercial property value and marketing over $1.2 trillion in overall assets.

Crexi proudly supports Washington DC, Alexandria, Arlington, Capitol Heights, Bethesda, and the surrounding areas as the market’s fastest-growing online CRE platform.

The State of Washington DC. Commercial Real Estate 

Washington DC is capital of the United States and home to all three branches of the US federal government, countless museums, foreign embassies, and international organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the Pan American Health Organization.

Located along the Potomac River, Washington DC shares a border with Virginia and Maryland. The city is divided into quadrants or wards centered on the Capitol Building and home to over 100 different neighborhoods. Nearly 6.3 million people reside in Greater Washington DC, making the metropolitan area the 6th largest nationwide.

Some of the world-renowned cultural landmarks in Washington DC are the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, United States Capitol, National Archives, Jefferson Pier, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Washington DC is one of only 13 cities in the US with all four major professional sports teams. The NBA Washington Wizards, NFL Washington Football Team (formerly the Washington Redskins), NHL Washington Capitals, and MLB Washington Nationals are proud to call Washington DC home.

Washington DC Regional Breakdown

For two decades, the Washington DC metro area has sustained explosive population growth. Over the past ten years, the area’s population has grown by 14.6%, about double the national average. Some of the fastest-growing submarkets in Washington DC include NoMa, Navy Yard, and Southwest.

  • Washington DC is home to nearly 690,000 residents in the capital city and federal district, with almost 6.3 million people living in the metropolitan area.
  • Metropolitan Washington DC includes Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV.
  • The population of Washington DC grew 0.47% year-over-year.
  • Principal cities in metropolitan Washington DC include Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Reston, and Silver Spring.
  • The largest counties in the Washington DC metro area include Fairfax, Montgomery, Prince George’s counties, and the District of Columbia.
  • The median household income in Washington DC is $105,659 and per capita income is $51,437.
  • The median age in Washington DC is 37.4, a little less than Virginia and the US’ average.

Washington DC Job Market

Payroll employment in Washington DC is gradually increasing, growing by 2.1% year-over-year. Job sectors showing the strongest growth include leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, education and health services, and professional and business services.

  • GDP for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA is nearly $560 billion and has grown by almost 40% over the past decade.
  • Employment growth in Washington DC has increased by 0.43% year-over-year, while median household incomes have grown by 3.5% over the past year.
  • The unemployment rate in the Washington DC MSA is 4.8%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (August 2021).
  • Core industry sectors in Washington DC include the federal government, professional services, hospitality and tourism, health care and life sciences, higher education, retail, technology, and real estate and construction.
  • Opportunity areas in metropolitan Washington DC include smart cities and civic solutions, security technology, data science and analytics, and professional services innovation.
  • The largest employers in Greater Washington DC are the District of Columbia government, Fairfax County Public Schools, Montgomery County Public Schools, Prince George’s County Public Schools, and MedStar Health.
  • Ten of the top companies in Washington DC are Danaher Corporation, Fannie Mae, Amtrak, FTI Consulting, Lockheed Martin, Capital One, Hogan Lovells, Marriott International, Twilio, and SAIC.
  • Universities and colleges in the Washington DC metropolitan area include American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, and Johns Hopkins University.
  • Major medical institutions in Greater Washington DC include the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Washington Hospital Center, and Children’s National Medical Center.
  • About 91% of residents in metro Washington DC are high school graduates or higher, while over 51% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree.

Transportation infrastructure in the Washington DC MSA includes 16 Interstate and US Highways, four rail transit systems, and three major airports, including Washington Dulles International Airport.

Washington DC. Industrial Market

The surge in e-commerce benefits the Washington DC metro industrial market, with absorption keeping pace with deliveries, rent growth accelerating, and vacancies remaining unchanged year-over-year. Large occupiers of industrial space in Washington DC include Amazon, Costco, Volkswagen, and transportation company A&A Transfer.

  • Total industrial inventory: 211,737,077 SF
  • Average asking rent: $9.42 per SF per year, net
  • Vacancy rate: 5.9%
  • Absorption: 3.8 million SF (YTD)
  • New construction: 3,553,000 SF delivered past 12 months
  • Sales activity: $181 per SF average sales price with mean cap rates at 7.3%
  • Most active industrial submarkets: Manassas I-66 and I-270 corridors, Frederick County, North Prince George’s County, and Maryland

Discover Washington DC industrial spaces for rent.

Washington DC Office Market

Job growth and economic recovery in the DC area remain positive. Fundamentals of the Washington DC metropolitan office market are steady, helping to generate a modest increase in activity. Over the next couple of years, vacancy rates are forecasted to rise because of imbalanced supply and demand conditions.

  • Total office inventory: 370,500,000 SF
  • Average asking rents: $41.71 per SF year, full service gross
  • Vacancy rate: 18.3%
  • Absorption: – 628,393 SF (Q3 2021)
  • New construction: 5.7 million SF of office space under construction with 1.9 million SF delivered YTD
  • Large office submarkets: District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Suburban Maryland

Discover Washington DC office spaces for lease. 

Washington DC Retail Market

Although the pandemic is delaying the return of some workers, the retail market in Washington DC and Northern Virginia is proving resilient. Fundamentals remain strong, with positive net absorption and vacancy rates in some submarkets below pre-pandemic levels.

  • Total retail inventory: 122,569,468 SF
  • Average asking rent: $27.15 per SF, NNN
  • Vacancy rate: 5.8%
  • Net absorption: -78,149 SF (Q2 2021)
  • New construction: 670,000 SF delivered YTD
  • Sales activity: $342 per SF for multi-tenant property with mean cap rates at 7.0%

Discover Washington DC retail property for lease.

Washington DC Multifamily Market

Although the economy will take some time to recover, the multifamily market in Washington DC is performing relatively well. Renter demand in the District is rising, and multifamily demand in suburban Washington DC has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

  • Total housing units: 2,401,483
  • Renter occupied: 36%
  • Total multifamily units: 816,504
  • Average asking rent: $1,782 per month
  • Asking rent growth: 3.2% year-over-year
  • Vacancy rate: 4.7%
  • Deliveries: 12,572 units past 12 months
  • Most active areas: Navy Yard-Capitol South, Northeast D.C., Alexandria area
  • Sales activity: $240,000 average sales price per unit with mean cap rates at 5.0%
  • Popular multifamily neighborhoods: Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill
  • Median household income: $105,659
  • Per capita income: $51,437

Discover Washington DC multifamily property for sale.

How Crexi Connects Buyers and Tenants to Washington DC. Commercial Real Estate

Buyers, principals, and businesses searching for Washington DC commercial properties can deftly browse through hundreds of available assets using Crexi’s robust and intuitive search functionality. 

Those seeking properties in Washington DC can navigate through hundreds of properties along dozens of search variables. Using Crexi’s tools, buyers and tenants can narrow searches by price or rate per square foot, cap rate, square footage, neighborhood, asset type and subtype, vacancy, and other parameters.

Interested parties can easily connect with the listing broker to learn more and begin acquisition conversations upon finding the perfect property. Crexi users can freely download PDFs, request more information, and even submit a letter of intent (LOI) directly on the page.

Intelligence Equips Investors with Data and Market Knowledge 

Data and research are essential tools for making informed property investment decisions, and Crexi Intelligence seeks to simplify the research process at every step. Intelligence equips property seekers with a database of up-to-date and highly relevant market information in convenient places, allowing them to analyze potential property investments.

Intelligence features a robust database of millions of property records and sales comparables, supplemented by more than 50 in-depth MSA market reports. Intelligence also equips buyers and tenants with an Insights tab on every page, filling out relevant data concerning real-time Washington DC market information such as average square footage, demographic data and traffic insights.

Intelligence is available to buyers, sellers, and tenants on a subscription basis.

How Washington DC Brokers Thrive with Crexi

Brokers in Washington DC harness Crexi to market the more than 1600 properties for sale and for lease within the city. With plentiful ongoing development and steady population growth, brokers in Washington DC list their assets on Crexi to a national database of potential buyers interested in entering the region.

Commercial agents in Washington D.C. also harness Crexi’s robust broker tools to manage leads, access real-time lead insights quickly, and amplify their marketing process to reach the broadest, most relevant audience pool possible. 

Washington DC commercial brokers use Crexi to represent assets across different sectors, including: 

  • Land parcels
  • Industrial buildings
  • Multifamily developments
  • Mixed-Use buildings
  • Hospitality assets
  • Retail properties
  • Offices units
  • Non-traditional properties such as self-storage, data centers, etc.

With Crexi’s broker tools, Washington DC brokers can easily navigate their clients’ properties from list to close in one convenient platform. Brokers can also manage due diligence paperwork and closing documents online using Crexi’s secure file storage.

These tools are free for brokers, but the full power of Crexi appears with Sale PRO, Lease PRO, and All PRO

Crexi PRO Dashboard 2020

Crexi’s All PRO Membership

Crexi PRO elevates broker workflows with advanced functionality designed to build pipelines and close more deals. Washington DC brokers can access highly detailed lead and contact information and generate branded lead reports in seconds, simplifying operational processes and allowing brokers to prioritize connections and doing what they do best: closing deals.

PRO also automates highly successful marketing processes for broker users. Listings with PRO receive preferential placement atop demand-curated search result pages, getting them seen by thousands of actively seeking leads. Crexi also sends weekly email blasts to its user database, curating properties that earn 10-15% higher click-through engagement than industry standards.

Crexi PRO users also enjoy full access to Intelligence’s data tools and analytics at no added cost, equipping them with detailed market knowledge to better serve their clients.

With Crexi PRO, brokers can quickly and efficiently connect with more than 78,000 leads who have explored Washington DC properties in the last two years and more than 12.5 million leads nationwide who searched using Crexi in 2021.

On average, Crexi PRO users successfully attract 125% more leads and close up to eight times as many deals as non-PRO users. 

Contact to learn more about All PRO.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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