Why are Housing Prices Rising in D.C. But Dropping Everywhere Else?

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Home prices are falling in cities like Chicago, but not in D.C.

D.C. is the only city on the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index in which housing prices rose over the past year and in the first quarter. UPI reports that high employment and “legacy issues” that help avoid problems such as speculation and oversupply are to thank.

But D.C. has also been attracting highly-skilled workers from across the country, UPI reports:

One of Washington’s secrets is that it is a great relocation market, and the relo market is coming to life as employers offer relocation benefits to entice talented workers to the region. “Employers are paying benefits including closing costs,” said [housing expert John Heithaus of Metropolitan Regional Information System] .

While some workers are being recruited to relocate to D.C., there are sizable communities of Washingtonians without work altogether; the Ward 7 unemployment rate, for instance, was about 20 percent in April. So although the District may appear to be a beacon of economic recovery to those across the country, that’s certainly not the experience for all city residents.