The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Where were District home purchases in 2012?

According to data from the DC Office of Tax and Revenue, 5,372 single family homes or condo units were purchased at fair market value in the District of Columbia in 2012. The geographic distribution of these homes and their sales prices follows some generally unsurprising patterns.

Homes are expensive west of Rock Creek Park; Condo sales are concentrated in the core of the city and along certain major arterial roads; and the markets for this specific type of residential real estate lagged east of the Anacostia River and along Eastern Avenue.

These maps make a statement about where mobile homeowners and investors are choosing to live and risk their money in the District, which in turn reflects the perceived existing or potential quality of life in those neighborhoods. They also provide insight into the District's housing stock.

Neighborhoods with high concentrations of apartment buildings, whether 4 units or 400 units, will not have a dominant presence on the maps. Turnover rates and neighborhood density also influence these visualizations, as do many other factors that readers will surely suggest in the comments.

Some notes about the data: The above total includes 2,286 condominiums (horizontal or vertical) and 3,086 single family homes (attached, detached, or semi-detached). Some of these may have been sold more than once in the calendar year, but because the figures only reflect the most recent sale, those cases only count once.

Cross-posted at R. U. Seriousing Me?

Chris Dickersin-Prokopp spends his days in Anacostia and nights in Petworth. He studied Latin American Studies and Urban Planning. He runs the blog R.U. Seriousing Me? and occasionally contributes to the Washington City Paper


Add a comment »

Wow. I find it hard to think of a worse way to visualize these data. How am I supposed to draw any conclusions from a picture showing thousands of overlapping circles?

by Gray on Feb 20, 2013 1:30 pm • linkreport

I agree with Gray. I can't tell how many overlapping circle I'm looking at in different areas. Why not just make each sale a dot and color code the dots for different sales price ranges? I think that would be more effective.

by TakomaNick on Feb 20, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

Please tell me this was made with a compass.

by TakomaNick on Feb 20, 2013 2:47 pm • linkreport

It looks like a planner decided to go all Jackson Pollock and threw grey splotches at a map.

by SJE on Feb 20, 2013 6:52 pm • linkreport

Duly posted to

by xyz on Feb 20, 2013 7:10 pm • linkreport

I guess this one was a swing and a miss.
I was trying for something in between a heat map and a simple point plot and after staring at it long enough, this made sense to me. Oh well.

by Chris DP on Feb 20, 2013 7:29 pm • linkreport

I don't hate the map. Maybe some kind of heat map would work better. I'm assuming size of the circle is related to sales price?

by Alan B. on Feb 21, 2013 9:08 am • linkreport

Chris...when in doubt, go with a color scale. White hot to blue cold.

by Michael on Feb 21, 2013 9:52 am • linkreport

Yeah, this might work if the dots were the same size, and you indicated price with color. If you got the opacity right...

If that doesn't work, this might just be better communicated with multiple maps: one showing density of sales, either with markers or as a heat map, and another heat map showing the price gradient.

by Gray on Feb 21, 2013 9:57 am • linkreport

Don't take it personally Chris. Better to swing and miss than not swing at all.

by SJE on Feb 21, 2013 12:28 pm • linkreport

The message the map intends to convey is clear and obvious. And, I like the 'hand-drawn' quality of each circle.

In the words of 50-cent via kanye: don't switch yo style up, if they hate let 'em hate, and watch the money pile up

by canopycrusader on Feb 21, 2013 10:35 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

You can use some HTML, like <blockquote>quoting another comment</blockquote>, <i>italics</i>, and <a href="http://url_here">hyperlinks</a>. More here.

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.


Support Us