DC Property Assessor Database Flaw

The WBJ reports on a flaw in the DC Property Assessment Database where properties in the District constructed prior to 1877 are classified by default as being constructed in 1900.  1877 was the first year that building permits were required in the District, so records for properties built earlier than this are not readily available.

Being an analytical type, I wanted to look at some MLS data to validate the extent of this database flaw.  Here are the number of active properties listed for sale or rent that were constructed in the years 1898 - 1902:

          Year Constructed         

      # of Listings         











While 1900 was a great year for America and Washington, DC, there is no way that new construction peaked so rapidly in a single year and then immediately dropped off to previous levels. This simple analysis highlights the extent of the flaw in the property assessment database.

Many of the "1900" listings are in Georgetown, with Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle also prominently represented.  The most expensive "1900" home is located in Dupont Circle at 1824 R Street, NW and is listed for $15.5M. 

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