The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home-Price Index was released for February 2011 and shows that Washington D.C. metro area is the best place in the U.S. to own real estate. The one-year change in home prices for the D.C. metro area was positive 2.7%, the only one in the 20 city index that did not show a negative change.
You can read all about the gloom and doom of the national real estate market in the Wall Street Journal article: Homes Prices Near Recession Low of April 27, 2011. It states that home prices are expected to continue to fall nationwide. “There is very little, if any, good news about housing,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee. Well I’m here to tell you some good news about housing and that is that all real estate is local!
The primary market that I work in is Northern Virginia which consists of McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna, Oakton, Alexandria and parts of Loudon County. The Northern Virginia area is part of the Washington D.C. metro index area that increased 8.4% over the nationwide recession low in April 2009. The nationwide peak occurred in July of 2006 and according to the index the metro area is still down 27.4%. According to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, the local market of Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church peaked in price in 2007 and is still down 12.9% from that peak. Notice that this local market is significantly better than the entire D.C. area numbers. I concur that the market low in Northern Virginia mirrored that of the nation and occurred in 2009. The biggest take away is that the Northern Virginia market is recovering and the rest of the nation appears not to be, or at least not as quickly and robustly.
The Northern Virginia market area continues to experience positive job growth, which historically contributes to a healthy robust real estate market. Housing follows jobs, hand in hand. We will continue to be dependent on the national real estate market to stabilize and improve however because when people relocate to this area, they often have a home to sell where they came from which impedes the ability to purchase locally. Further there is always a bit of emotional baggage from reading negative headlines about the real estate market.
Be of good cheer, if you own a home in Northern Virginia, your home should sell at a fair market price. If you are a purchaser in Northern Virginia, you missed the bottom, but there are still some good values to be had AND you have the confidence that you are purchasing in a real estate market that historically holds its value.
The link to the Wall Street Journal article: Homes Prices Near Recession Low of April 27, 2011:
Karen Briscoe with the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Realty Group, Keller Williams would be delighted to be of assistance, whether it is for buying or selling of a home. Karen can be reached at 703-734-0192 or Homes@HBCRealtyGroup.com. Or visit the HBC Realty Group website for more information at www.HBCRealtyGroup.com.