When the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31 last year, the real estate world gave a hearty “good riddance” to 2009. There wasn’t tons to celebrate last year. The weak national economy meant that home sales remained sluggish and home values stagnant.
At least that’s what it felt like to most of us. But in reality? Last year wasn’t quite as bad as you might have thought when it came to the residential real estate market in DC In fact, home values actually increased here last year.
WHAT!? I know. That sounds suspiciously like the talk of a Realtor who wants to convince everyone that housing in DC is still a great value. Well, I have stats to back me up here, from the well-respected Case-Shiller Index.
In a Feb. 24 post, the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/24/the-best-performing-housi_n_474556.html?slidenumber=MFkP60gLL0s%3D&slideshow) reported that only six of the 20 major housing markets tracked by the index saw home values increase in 2009. And DC was one of these six markets.
According to the index, home prices in DC actually rose 1.9 percent in 2009. That’s a modest increase when compared to the way home prices shot up during the housing boom years. But those increases were unsustainable; housing prices simply rose too high too fast during the boom.
The District’s nearly 2-percent increase in home values made it the fourth best residential housing market in 2009. That’s certainly good news for homeowners, and especially for those trying to sell a condo, single-family home or townhouse.
Overall, the 20 markets tracked by the Case-Shiller Index saw home values fall an average of 3.1 percent. San Francisco ranked as the top-performing market, with home values in that city rising 4.8 percent in 2009. (Of course, try buying an affordable home in San Francisco. You think housing prices are high in the District? You’d be shocked at what they’re charging in California.)
The Case-Shiller Index is just one more piece of evidence supporting my belief that housing in the District is a great value. I guess I really do want to convince everyone of that. But at least I have the numbers to make my case a convincing one.
Category: Real Estate Market Reports