The most expensive homes sold in the DC area in 2023

As high mortgage rates continued to impact Washington’s real estate market, the upper end of home sales reached new heights in 2023. A $13 million penthouse became the most expensive apartment ever in the DC region, and a DC property with ties to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis fetched for more than $12 million. And those weren’t even the top sales.

The number of homes sold in the region for more than $1 million fell between 2022 and 2023, according to ICE Mortgage Technology. But last year, listings in the luxury market went under contract faster — within two weeks for three of the top 10 listings, real estate leaders said.

“As you get closer to the city, even the more expensive homes are moving right now,” said Cara Pearlman, executive vice president at Compass Realty. “There are people who have never transacted before because they weren’t sure what would happen to the economy. Now they realize that nothing substantive changes.”

Pearlman was the listing agent for the most expensive home sold in the DC area this year: an 11,000-square-foot Mediterranean villa where the Swedish ambassador lived for about 70 years.

She notes another trend among this year’s highest transactions: embassy-related sales. “There are only so many people who need this scale of ultra-luxury homes,” Pearlman says.

Pearlman said she sees an uptick in the higher-end market. “It’s encouraging to see them see that things have been the way they have been for a while, and they decide to move on and move on and buy their next home or second home,” she said. it feels like the wheels might come loose.

This isn’t everyone’s market, but the rest of us can peruse this list of last year’s best sales, compiled with the help of Bright MLS, in a way that’s as wistful, jealous, or spiteful as we want.


2860 Woodland Dr. NW, Washington, DC

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Built on a terraced hill in 1927, this DC mansion was designed by architect George N. Ray, who designed more than 50 homes in the area. Notable owners include an undersecretary of the Treasury Department, an ambassador to Switzerland and president of the Washington National Bank, and Bill Frist, a former majority leader in the U.S. Senate. The stone mansion, decorated with wisteria and adorned with five terraces, played host to dinner guests such as Elizabeth Taylor and Vincent Price. It was a filming location for the 1977 film ‘The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover’.

List price: $9.75 million

Time on market: Three months

Listing agent: Robert Hryniewicki, Washington Fine properties


8913 Holly Leaf Lane, Bethesda, MD.

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The only Maryland sale on the list was for former Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal, whose lavish mansion sold for nearly a million under the $10 million asking price after he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. The ad described an “elevated South Miami atmosphere,” with black ceiling accents and hand-laid Italian mosaic tiles. The 2016 home has six bedrooms, ten bathrooms and an elevator to traverse its 13,482 square feet. It also has an NBA-built half court, arcade, tennis court with stadium lighting and parking for 14 vehicles. It was purchased in November by Dean Seavers, a businessman who was president of National Grid USA.

Selling price: $9.185 million

Time on market: Two months

Listing agent: Andres Serafini, RLAH @properties


4620 Cathedral Ave. NW, Washington, DC

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This six-bedroom, nine-bathroom house with a modern black and white facade was built in 2022 in a set of three adjacent houses. The parcels, next to Battery Kemble Park, which are owned by the federal government, were explored by developers for more than a decade before Bryce Arrowood, managing partner at Cliveden Group, figured out how to gain access to the land: by buying a house at the end of Cathedral Avenue that bordered the lots, and the construction of a private road. The transitional-style home has a floating staircase, a wine cellar, a gym, and ample outdoor space with a pool. The home was purchased in January by TEWBDC, LLC, which has the same mailing address as ALS Finding a Cure, a service mark of the Leandro P. Rizzuto Foundation. The latter is a tax-exempt organization.

List price: $9.495 million

Selling price: $9.45 million

Time on market: Two and a half months

Listing agent: Lee Arrowood, Compass Real Estate


3301 Fessenden St. NW, Washington, DC

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This Italian-inspired estate with a limestone-domed foyer has a name of equal gravitas, dubbed Palazzo Della Felicita, or “Palace of Happiness” by its builder. Featuring a double grand staircase, a library with wood walls and ceilings, a movie theater, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, a patio and a garage for up to 11 cars, the 2019 Forest Hills community center is designed for entertaining. It should come as no surprise that it was purchased by the Israeli embassy for Ambassador Michael Herzog in September – for about half a million less than its original price.

List price: $9.95 million

Time on market: Less than two weeks

Listing agent: Michael Rankin, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty


1113 Langley Lane, McLean, Va.

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We’re now getting into eight figures! The many decorations of this 16,000-square-foot, Western European-inspired mansion come from sources as diverse as the Oregon Trail (300 tons of fieldstone) and a French chateau (an artist-signed fireplace from 1900). Designed to accommodate as many as 160 guests, the property features a sunlit entertainment room, circular wine cellar, hearth room, vaulted hallways, enormous walk-in closets, a two-story library with a spiral staircase and an indoor basketball court. Outside, a stone veranda overlooks the property’s 1¼ acres, designed by landscape architect Charles Owens. The mansion was purchased in January by the thus unidentified Earthly Castle LLC.

List price: $13.5 million

Selling price: $10.8 million

Time on market: Four months

Listing agent: William Thomas, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty


2221 30th St. NW, Washington, DC

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This Beaux-Arts estate in Massachusetts Avenue Heights was built in 2008 as a showpiece for the late venture capitalist and major Republican donor Melvyn J. Estrin. The mansion hosted numerous fundraisers for its favorite candidates, and for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It covers an area of ​​13,595 square meters and four floors and has a heated motor court, several terraces, a heated swimming pool, lobby, library, wine room and parking for 14 vehicles. It will be a new official residence for the Irish ambassador and will be sold in December for more than $4,000,000 below list price.

List price: $16.5 million

Selling price: $12.25 million

Time on market: Three days

Listing agent: Charles Holzwarth Jr., Washington Fine property


601 Wharf St. SW #PH1, Washington, DC

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This record-breaking penthouse in the Wharf’s chic, futuristic Amaris, the most expensive new build in 2023 – and the most expensive apartment ever sold in the area, was designed by the late Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. His other projects include Manhattan’s ‘pencil tower’ at 432 Park Avenue, Tokyo International Forum and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The penthouse, which overlooks the vibrant entertainment district and the Washington Channel, has four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a large terrace and three parking spaces. According to the Wall Street Journal, the buyer was a West Coaster who wanted an East Coast home for his family. They also purchased two docks at the Wharf.

List price: $12.5 million

Selling price: $12.762 million

Time on market: None (sold the day before the listing appeared)

Listing agent: Michelle Giannini, Hoffman Realty


1163 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, Va.

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This 13,882 square foot stone mansion is located next to the former Kennedy family estate Hickory Hill in Langley Farm. It has a handcrafted mahogany and glass front door, an antique limestone fireplace, coffered ceilings, custom chandeliers and a room labeled “morning bar.” .” Outside, the ‘rimless’ pool flows into a waterfall, fountains bubble and a built-in stone fire pit comes with matching, non-removable and hard-looking stone seating. The landscaped gardens cover almost two hectares.

List price: $13.8 million

Selling price: $13.25 million

Time on market: Four months

Listing agent: Piper Yerks, Washington Fine properties


3017, 3009, 3003 N St. NW, Washington, DC

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Speaking of the Kennedys, this combined estate includes a National Historic Landmark once owned by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Other notable past tenants include a World War I war secretary, a Soviet spy, and Yolande Fox, a former Miss America and Washington magnate. The property, with 13 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms, was converted into one complex by the late property owner David Hudgens, who had lived at 3017 N St. NW since 1997, but its history dates back to the 18th century, when it was built by the mayor of Georgetown. Thomas Beall. Combined, the houses have more than 16,000 square meters of living space and feature original fireplaces, a three-car garage, several terraces and a drawing room with hand-painted frescoes. It sold in November to an LLC called HistoryHouse Properties for nearly $6 million above the asking price.

List price: $9.25 million

Selling price: $15.1 million

Time on market: Eight months

Listing agent: John Taylor, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty


3900 Nebraska Ave. NW, Washington, DC

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The most expensive “home” sold in the DC area last year has more in common with commercial sales than residential. Built in 1925 for a wealthy newspaper publisher, this sprawling Mediterranean villa in American University Park was home to Swedish Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter before she moved to a “Scandi-cool” residence in Georgetown. This sale marks the first time the 6.7 hectare estate has come to the market since the 1950s. It appears that ultra-luxury DC buyers are now making less use of such estates – according to Pearlman, none of the thirteen or so listings were end-users. Although the mansion is protected from major changes by a D.C. historic landmark designation, developers plan to build a luxury community reminiscent of Phillips Park on the rest of the site, Pearlman said. It was sold to Banks Development Co. in February.

List Price: $19.5 million

Selling price: $17.3 million

Time on market: Four months

Listing agent: Cara Pearlman, Compass Real Estate