White House Real Estate Value Drops

white house value dropsThink the value of your house has dropped this year? Take a look at the White House. The value of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has dropped nearly $80 million from its $331.5 million value at the peak of the housing boom to today's $253.1 million, reported the Los Angeles Times. A year ago, the President's home was worth $292.5 million, according to WalletPop.

Nor is the president's home alone in that slump, despite the many, small improvements President Obama made to the property when he moved into the Oval Office.

Many luxury homes in "the Washington Metropolitan area [are] going the way of the White House," local agent Gretchen Koitz, of the Koitz Group with Coldwell Banker Residential Properties, told AOL Real Estate.
"We are continuing to see a decline in that luxury market," Koitz says. "But in the high-end Northwest D.C. area, we haven't seen as much of a percentage drop as we have in the far out reaches of the Potomac. Part of that is people would rather be closer in and not deal with the commute." Buyers on the hunt
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for large, stately homes in the D.C. area might look in the city's DuPont Circle neighborhood, in McLean, Va., or Potomac, Md.

Statistics show that on average homes in the region sell at 94.15 percent of their list price, a 1.63 percent improvement over a year ago. They're also selling faster now: Homes are on the market an average of 60 days, down 16.67 percent from a year ago.

"We go through a period from late Thanksgiving to the beginning of the year where people don't put their homes on the market and we don't see a lot of purchases," says Koitz. "You start in the new year even in the best of markets wondering how much it is going to go up [or down]....We have to wait to see what the 2011 market will bring."

The original White House was erected between 1792 and 1800, designed by the Irish-born architect James Hoban. In 1814, the British army set it on fire during the War of 1812, wrecking the interior and charring most of the exterior. The rebuilding of the White House began shortly after, and President Monroe moved in to the unfinished structure in October 1817. It has been the residence of every president from John Adams on. The 132-room home has six stories, including a two-story basement. It also has 35 bathrooms.

The White House is situated on a little over 18 acres, a sizable plot for the middle of urban Washington. The South Lawn was first graded and planted by Thomas Jefferson. The current landscaping plan is still based on one designed by Frederick Law Olmstead Jr. in 1935 for Franklin Roosevelt. First Lady Michelle Obama installed the White House's first organic vegetable garden and beehives on the South Lawn.

Frankly, the 16-bedroom White House, with its year-over-year 13.47 percent loss, has fared a lot better than many home values across the nation, which have seen far greater than a 10 percent price cut. In fact, the entire D.C. area has fared better than the rest of the nation, according to several reports.

According to the most recent Case Shiller report, which is based on a composite of the home price index of 20 different cities, D.C. is one of only four areas to actually post year-over-year gains, and in fact it posted the largest gain at a 3.7 percent increase.

"The D.C housing market in general has been one of the best-performing markets since the downturn because the foot print of the Federal government has expanded in terms of government spending," says Jonathan Miller, an independent market analyst for the MRIS, the largest multiple listing service covering the greater Washington D.C. area.

Miller told AOL Real Estate that due to how every four years, or even every two years, there is a housing turn over in our nation's capital, that has kept the market from decreasing at the same rate as other areas.

"The market itself compared to the rest of the country has fared better. Federal employees are pushing for a pay freeze but employment has not been cut. In fact last year's unemployment rate was just over 6 percent. Compare that against nationally pushing 10 percent and that's why this housing market has fared and continues to fare better than the national market."

However, when George W. Bush was sworn in as president in January 2001, the White House's value was $167,861,500, according Zillow estimates. So actually, a decade a later, the value of the 55,000-square-foot mansion is up.

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