D.C. Home Prices Continue to Rise

Mr. T in DC / Flickr

For sale signs in Columbia Heights.

The D.C. area is only one of two metro regions in the country that saw housing prices increase during the past year. That’s according to new ratings by the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which shows D.C.’s prices increased by 0.3 percent from August 2010 to August 2011. Detroit is the only other city that had rising housing prices.

What’s so special about D.C. and Detroit? Government money, apparently; the auto bailout helped bolster Detroit’s economy, where housing prices rose by 2.7 percent after a steep drop in 2009. And government jobs keep the D.C. area’s job market more robust than elsewhere in the nation.

Moderate income D.C. homeowners who have stuck it out for years in the District benefit from rising prices, as long as they want to sell their homes. They can make a pretty penny by selling their now-expensive properties to wealthier newcomers. But as this continues, some neighborhoods, such as Logan Circle, could see almost all of their income diversity disappear. And even though African Americans make up the largest racial group in the District, whites own more homes.

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