DC: The Country’s Priciest Housing Market in 2012

by Lark Turner

DC: The Country's Priciest Housing Market in 2012: Figure 1

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) looks at the impact the Great Recession had on different aspects of the housing market, with some interesting insight into the frequently-referenced resiliency of the DC market.

First up: DC was the most expensive housing market in the country compared to other metros in 2011-2012. The amount area residents spent on furnishings, supplies, utilities, household operations and housing itself eclipsed the next-priciest metro, San Francisco, by about $1,000 a year.

The national average at the time was $16,887. According to the report, “Households in Washington D.C ($17,603) spent, on average, almost twice as much on shelter — a component of housing expenditures — than households in Cleveland, Ohio ($9,061).” Time to pack up for Ohio, kids!

The report also used 2012 data to look at the difference between renting and buying. On average, renters spent more than owners on the base cost of housing (for renters, that was the rent paid; for owners, that was the mortgage and interest), but when you factor in other owning expenses, like maintenance, repairs and more, homeowners spent $1,788 compared to renters’ paltry $13 average outlay on those same expenses. The report does not say whether that cost difference made renting a better deal than owning on average, but the calculus is usually very market-dependent.

Below is a chart that tracks owner’s outlays on mortgage payments and utilities during the recession.

Finally, the report looked at the impact of the recession on housing-related industries, like construction, which took a big hit nationwide.

But the prediction is that between 2012-2022, employment across those industries will pick up dramatically. Jobs in “masonry contractors (65.3 percent); residential building construction; poured concrete foundation and structure contractors; electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors; and plumbing, heating, air-conditioning contractors are projected to grow at least 28 percent.”

See other articles related to: housing, great recession, bureau of labor statistics, bls

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how_housing_costs_changed_after_the_great_recession/8944


  1. DC225 said at 5:04 pm on Tuesday September 9, 2014:
    Go look online for a 1bd apartment in San Francisco and you'll quickly realize how relatively affordable DC is to SF. And there's no way that Baltimore is more expense than L.A. - not by a longshot.
  1. Brett said at 8:25 pm on Tuesday September 9, 2014:
    @DC225 The data should be interpreted as places where people spend the most of their income on housing, not places where housing costs most.

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