Trump's super-rich cabinet is shaking up DC's housing market

Washington DC’s housing market is jolted whenever a new president takes office and new members of the administration shop for homes.

But the impact was aggravated this time, with the wealthiest president in US history appointing other super-rich people to help run the country.

According to the real-estate company Redfin, President Donald Trump’s administration contributed to a 32.6% year-over-year jump in luxury home prices in the area, reversing the trend of falling prices in that segment. The price jump outpaced other major housing markets tracked by Redfin.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a former hedge fund manager, bought a $US12.6 million home in Massachusetts Heights. The neighbourhood is popular with the uber-rich and is a quick drive to the White House ,according to the Washington Post. Mnuchin’s 16,000 square-foot home has nine bedrooms and was sold on Valentine’s Day, according to the Washington Business Journal.

And then, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a former banker, snagged a $US10.75 million mansion not too far from Mnuchin’s home, according to Redfin. The Beaux Arts estate includes seven bedrooms, a library, and a theatre, according to Curbed.

The average sale price of a luxury home in DC in the first quarter was $US2.7 million, according to Redfin.

“We don’t typically see many home sales over $US10 million in a year,” said Michael Alderfer, a Redfin agent in DC, in a report published on Thursday. “To have two back-to-back is significant. We may see some additional eye-popping purchases from Trump administration officials in the coming months.”

Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State who was CEO of Exxon Mobil, reportedly bought a $US5.5 million home in Kalorama. President Barack Obama and Ivanka Trump rent in the neighbourhood.

Even outside of DC, luxury-home buyers enjoy more options compared to affordable starter homes where there is an inventory crunch. The glut in luxury housing is encouraging landlords to offer greater concessions and discounts to attract more buyers.

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