Housing Prices Drop in Major U.S. Cities, Except in D.C.

Flickr: Andrew Bossi

D.C. homes are just getting more expensive.

Buying a home may be getting cheaper elsewhere, but not in D.C. The District is the only city on the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which measures the value of real estate for 20 major cities, in which housing prices increased in March and over the past year.

According to the data released Tuesday, home prices rose by 4.3 percent between March 2010 and March 2011 in D.C. Compare that to New York City, where they dropped by 3.4 percent [PDF].

Increased home values can be good for longtime residents, so long as they own their homes and can afford increased property tax bills. But increased real estate values also means there’s increased incentive for landlords to convert more affordable rental units into pricier apartments and condos. And that can lead to low-income renters being priced out. Renters constitute 55 percent of the city’s population, and rents citywide are expected to increase by about 5.4 percent this year.