Population is Up in DC but Housing Supply is Slow to Match Growth

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

Are you looking for a new home in the DC metro area? Depending on the type of home you are looking for - condo or coop versus single family or townhome - and the price range with which you are most comfortable, you may have to adjust your search to a different part of the region.  

"State of the Capital Region" is a new report which tracks how residential development post-2000 has impacted pricing and affordability in the greater DC area. An unsurprising finding is that the metropolitan region has added twice as many people as housing units since , ratcheting up the cost of housing. 

The report, which was coauthored by the Brookings Institute, looks carefully at the location of the growth in housing starts since 2000, the type of housing being built in various locations and the cost of that housing in comparison with the mean income of the region. 

Exurban areas have led the region in housing starts since 2000 with 45 percent.  Most of the housing built since 2000 has been in exurban areas, with 45 percent more housing added compared to a 15 percent increase in the urban and suburban areas. Loudoun County, for example, built as much new housing as DC and Arlington County combined. DC proper, meanwhile,leads the urban core (defined as DC, Arlington County and Alexandria) in new housing built. 

Land costs dictate the type of housing being built in each part of the region.  Since 2000, most of the housing built in DC has been multi-unit construction, while single-family homes represented 70 percent of the new housing built in Prince George's County and 60 percent of the new housing built in Fairfax County. In Montgomery County, development since 2000 has been split pretty evenly between single- and multi-family housing. 

Overall, two-thirds of the housing built regionwide, both before 2000 and between 2000-2017, was single-family stock. New housing units in multi-family buildings with more than 50 units were 10 percent of the housing stock before 2000, but 20 percent of housing units built from 2000-2017. In the urban core (DC, Arlington County and Alexandria), more than 80 percent of new housing built since 2000 was in multi-family buildings with at least 50 units.

Because of the disparate distribution and decreased construction of housing stock, affordability has vastly shifted in the region. In 1980, the median home value in the region ($275,000 in 2017 dollars) was 3.7 times the median household income ($70,000 in 2017 dollars); now, the median home value ($415,000) is 4.5 times the median household income ($95,000). In DC proper, the median housing value is nearly 7 times median household income; the ratios in Arlington/Alexandria, Montgomery and Fairfax counties, and Prince George's County are respectively 6:1, 4.5:1, and 3.5:1.


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Local News and Events
new housing starts
housing statistics dc metro area
state of the capital region

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I am sure more people are coming with Amazon's new venture in your area.  Wishing you a great week.  A

May 19, 2019 05:01 AM #1
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Lise. Downtown Chicago does not have your inventory problems. Condos are developing a buyer problem. Enjoy your day!

May 19, 2019 05:02 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Lise... kind of like the same problem we're having in the Charlotte metro area. Way more demand in closer in areas than availability and it's driving up home prices.

May 19, 2019 05:15 AM #3
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Lise Howe .....sellers in the DC  area who are thinking about selling would be wise to call Lise Howe for guidance....this is the ideal time to make that move.... and Lise is the best agent to accomplish that goal...

May 19, 2019 05:25 AM #4
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Sounds like you will be kept busy and should be able to pick and choose whom you work with, which is a good place to be!

May 19, 2019 06:30 AM #5
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning, Lise - hopefully the plans to address this population increase will be addressed properly/thoughtfully, as the DC Metro Area moves forward.  

May 19, 2019 06:58 AM #6
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Families on the move will appreciate your local market reports.


May 19, 2019 08:41 AM #7
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Same problem in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. In the Silicon Valley and San Mateo County we're seeing a preponderance of all-cash sales and over list. San Francisco is a bit slower of a market, but robust and is seeing a very active spring.

May 19, 2019 08:09 PM #8
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Lise.

Your last paragraph says it all.  I wonder what next year will bring. 

May 20, 2019 01:50 AM #9
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Lise - this does not surprise me.  I used to think that the traffic ended after driving south past the Beltway but it really now extends south into Virginia.

May 20, 2019 05:11 AM #10
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Lise it appears that almost every where in the country there is a lack of inventory.

May 20, 2019 02:55 PM #11
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Lise we have the same issues, what makes it really frustrating is that the Building Department is difficult in approving new construction, hence developers are slowed down as well which does not help, Endre

May 20, 2019 11:45 PM #12
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Lise Howe

Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information