Washington D.C. and Its Housing Market

Washington D.C., our nation’s capital, is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Supreme Court, and all the museums on the mall, there is something to do for everyone. In addition, the livability of the area and ease of public transportation in the metropolitan area, thanks to the class A subway rail system, expands one’s rental location possibilities to adjacent cities in Virginia and Maryland. The entire area is called the Washington Metropolitan Area, or more proudly, the National Capital Region. Let’s see what it has to offer a potential resident.

The population of the area is about 8.5 million people, spread out between the District of Columbia (D.C.), Northern Virginia, the Baltimore, Md. corridor, and several other Maryland counties that wrap around the D.C. beltway. Combining the counties inside and outside that beltway, called I-495, forms the boundaries of much of the metropolitan area. In addition, the D.C. Metrorail spurs from downtown outward to all areas so you can essentially live anywhere and take the train into work if you're employed downtown. The job market in the region is healthy compared to other U.S. cities. Maryland and Virginia both have unemployment rates well below the national 8%-plus rate. This is because of the large and stable workforce of government employees and contractors, the military, lawyers and lobbyists, etc. that make up the framework of the area's employment sector. In addition, the government seems to continually grow each year, and while there have been recent drops in public sector employment across the nation, it hasn’t greatly impacted this area as of yet.

When it comes to housing, the stock in the area is as varied as the cities in our nation. It includes 100-year-old brownstones in The District, mansions in Montgomery County, Md., and moderately priced town homes in Fairfax. There are also many high-rise apartments and condominiums that have sprung up along the Metrorail lines, and have been growing since the 1970s. Housing unit pricing can range from $100,000 condominiums on the outskirts of the area to $10 million mansions in northwest D.C. and Maryland. The average price for homes home in Washington was about $363,000 last month, according to Zillow.com . And in Fairfax, Virginia, housing was in the $400,000 range, while Maryland is all over the map, depending on the local values.

The rental market also is wide and varied, based on the housing stock and location. Rents can run anywhere from $600 per month for an efficiency in Frederick, Md. to thousands of dollars per month in Georgetown. It just wholly depends on the area where you prefer to live in this large metropolitan area.

Overall, the Washington D.C. metropolitan area is a wonderful place to live, with good employment opportunities and reasonably priced housing for the incomes in the area. It’s also a great place to visit, vacation, and attend one of the many high-quality public and private universities in the region. That means if you move here, you’ll have plenty of friends and family stopping by to visit you as well as see the nation’s capital and all of its sights!