What determines the price of a home and the value of an investing in a particular area?
Location, Location, Location! You've no doubt heard that before.
Supply & Demand? Of course...
But there is another key factor -- Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
When the job market is hot, so is the particular region of the country. When Wall Street is hot, everyone wants to live and work in New York City. During the high-tech internet boom, high-paying jobs fueled the growth of the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. The rise in home prices in these areas reflected the high demand from J.P. Morgan investment bankers and Yahoo! and Google's new legions of cubicle dwellers.
Similarly, the housing woes and real estate declines being suffered in the hard-hit Detroit and upper Midwest areas is directly attributable to the drastic layoffs in the automobile and manufacturing industries.
If you already live in the Washington D.C. metro area, you already know that the job market is great -- anybody who wants a job has one.
If you live elsewhere in the country and are looking for employment, chances are high that you could find it if you were to relocate to the Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia area. And if you are in college, it is almost certain that employers from the D.C. area are recruiting from your school!
Today's Washington Post reports that the "Area Jobless Rate is Lowest in U.S." as the unemployment rate in the Washington area fell to 3 percent in August, the lowest of all U.S. metropolitan areas.
Mirroring the national scene, the real estate market in the Washington region has slowed down but not as severely as in other areas. Fundamentally, the job market is fantastic and has fueled the growth of the region and helped to restrict the real estate slowdown. As the Post article reports, "the low unemployment figure suggest the region's economy is continuing to chug along, despite the credit crunch and a downturn in the housing market."
Professional and business services positions lead all job gains during the past 5 years in the D.C. area with a 23.6% increase over that time. These are not "Office Space" cubicle type jobs. These are the lawyers, the CPAs, the executives, the big players -- in short, high paying professional career jobs. Click here for more information and a chart which displays the types of jobs available throughout the region.
Where "Washington used to be a net exporter of jobs in the early 1990s; now we have to scour the whole country, sometimes the universe, to find the best people for leadership roles" said Paul Dinte, CEO of a McLean, Virginia recruiting firm.