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These Days, No News is Good News for Housing Market

by Will Smith

This week has seen a raft of grim news about the national housing market.

On Monday, the results of a monthly survey by The National Association of Home Builders found builder confidence at its lowest point since April of last year. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department released its monthly numbers on housing starts (breaking ground on new homes) and building permits. Both numbers disappointed industry watchers, prompting gloomy headlines from the Wall Street Journal like Housing Market Stumbles, Lowest Level of Housing Activity Since WW II, and Housing: Right Back Where We Started?

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The market is still plagued by the same afflictions that have been present for two years: oversupply, foreclosures, heightened credit standards that make getting a mortgage difficult, unemployment, and overall economic malaise.

What appears to be different now is that many had hoped the momentum witnessed earlier this year meant that the worst was over. While almost everyone acknowledged that the home-buyer tax credit was goosing sales, the drop-off in activity since the credit expired has been acute and worse than expected.

Fortunately for DC, the Washington area continues to have one of the country’s most robust housing markets. Using this interactive chart, you can see how the DC Metro measures up against others on metrics such as housing price change (2nd highest appreciation), months of supply (8th lowest), and the rate of overdue loan payments (8th lowest). Note also that the Washington area is #1 in terms of jobs (thank you, federal government).

So while the country braces for a potential double dip in the housing market (and perhaps the wider economy), the DC market’s fundamentals will hopefully remain strong.

See other articles related to: national trends, dc area market trends

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/these_days_no_news_is_good_news_for_housing_market/2285

3 Comments

  1. adam said at 8:24 am on Thursday July 22, 2010:

    The region will be tested if Congress actually starts cutting back agency budgets.  That will put pressue on federal government employee and even more so on contractor employment.

  1. PJ said at 9:05 am on Thursday July 22, 2010:

    You have to wonder what will happen if the austerity trend from Europe comes over here and the fed govt starts cutting programs and jobs, affecting both fed employees and contractors.  In such a scenario, the DC market could decline markedly.

  1. JT said at 3:42 pm on Thursday July 22, 2010:

    Reading that the Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA want to cut contractor employment to pre-9/11 levels is worrisome from a housing/economic perspective too.

Comments are closed.

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