Washington, DC-area housing market rebound is gaining momentum

The Washington metro area is one of 101 U.S. housing markets that have shown “measurable improvement” for at least the past six months, according to an index released by the National Association of Home Builders April 5. There are approximately 360 such housing markets total.


Catch the azaleas throughout the DC region while you can. CREDIT: AndyAdvantage Real Estate

In order to make the list, a region must stay above its low point, or “trough,” in housing prices, building permits and employment for six months or more. (The low points are measured from the 2009 housing crash.) That’s harder than it might seem, because a dip in even one metric — it’s usually home prices — below the “trough” would knock a region off the list.

For the Washington area, which includes the District and Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs, the low point for jobs was February of 2010, and employment has improved 3.7 percent since then, according to an April 6 report in The Washington Post. For home prices, it was January 2011, and prices have risen 2 percent since.

The growth may seem somewhat tepid because some areas saw an improvement of 15 percent or more. NAHB senior economist Robert Denk said that’s because metropolitan Washington’s housing market didn’t fall as far as some areas did. It may be a long road back to a robust housing market for the nation but the DC area appears to be leading the way.

Metropolitan Washington “didn’t have it as bad as other areas, and it is improving at a healthier pace than some areas,” Denk told the Post.