Fall Market Predictions: The Private Sector Will Sustain DC’s Economy

  • September 4, 2013

by UrbanTurf Staff

As fall approaches, there are a number of questions floating around about the DC area housing market. Will the tight inventory in the for-sale market continue? Will the slew of new apartments entering the rental market push rents down? Will the effects of sequestration become more noticeable?

With these questions in mind, each day this week UrbanTurf will be hearing the predictions and trends that local industry professionals believe will play out in the fall market.

Fall Market Predictions: The Private Sector Will Sustain DC's Economy: Figure 1

The Private Sector Will Sustain DC’s Economy

By David E. Versel, AICP, George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis

While sequestration has undoubtedly put a damper on the DC economy this year, the truth is that the Federal government’s influence on the local economy has been in decline since 2010, both in terms of jobs and procurement spending.

Growth over the past two years has instead been driven by the private sector, which in DC proper, has added more than 15,000 jobs since July 2011. Private sector growth in the city has been led by the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 7,100 jobs over the past two years; additional growth was seen in professional and business services (+5,400 jobs) and education and health services (+2,400 jobs). The area’s relative strength in these areas should continue to move the economy forward during the fall.

Two other sectors are also poised for growth over the next few months. The construction sector is expected to add jobs, as pressure in the local housing market is leading to more housing starts. Also, hiring in the retail trade sector should increase during the run-up to the holiday season. Along with jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry, growth in these sectors will create new opportunities for unemployed workers with lower skill levels. Unfortunately, those filling jobs in such lower wage sectors will continue to struggle to find adequate housing located in reasonable proximity to their jobs. While additional housing production will help, the city’s limited supply of workforce housing will remain a challenge.

While DC’s economy unquestionably faces ongoing challenges from Federal austerity, the strength of the city’s private sector should continue to sustain job growth and, by extension, housing demand in the fall months.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/fall_market_predictions_the_private_sector_will_sustain_dcs_economy/7509

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