How the Pandemic Saved the Potomac Real Estate Market

In 2020, the suburbs were deemed paradise.

Article by Paul E. Biciocchi, Principal Broker of Forum Properties, Inc.

Originally published in Potomac Lifestyle

The pandemic of 2020 brought on many adverse effects to people around the world. The Potomac community was not in any way spared. Masking, school disruption, germaphobia all became the norm. But one dynamic that changed dramatically and for the better, was the local residential real estate market. Specifically the Potomac market, which was rescued from the 2015 - 2019 doldrums that had plagued the 20854 zip code for years.

With the local market trend moving into "Bethesda" where one could live and enjoy a "10" walk score, the pandemic created a huge upheaval to the "norm."  Millennial couples living in the city, now found that the 800 sq. ft. condo was great while they both worked 50 hours at the office. However, now with the work from home format imposed on them and restaurant seating shut down, they found living in a small home/ work environment 24/7 unbearable. This ignited an exit from Washington, DC. Add to this the disruption and violence surrounding the November elections and the suburbs were deemed "paradise".

However, Bethesda had become very "pricey" with new construction condos selling from $800 per square foot to $1,000 per square foot. Former $750,000 homes were now pushing the $1 million mark and new construction single family homes were starting at $1,500,000 plus. It appeared that everyone wanted more space. Larger homes, larger lots, amenities such as swimming pools, sports courts....and voila... Potomac neighborhoods offered the answer.

The opportunity to buy a home with a half acre, one acre or two acre lot for $1,000,000 - $1,250,000 was seen as superb value. Larger lots were able to accommodate or already had amenities like swimming pools. Homes with space and grounds for a full size family to enjoy made Potomac utopia for a large segment of the suburban market. Sluggish, "outside of the Village" neighborhoods saw a tenfold uptick in demand. Things are looking up for 20854.

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