Boomtown, USA: D.C. Running Out of Available Homes as Demand Soars

In yet another sign that Washington, D.C. is "Boomtown," U.S.A., there are not enough homes in D.C. to meet demand. 

As the Washington Post reports, "homes at the higher end of the spectrum--from $600,000 to just shy of the $1 million mark--are on the market for eight days. On the other side of the scale, homes priced lower than $300,000 are available for just over two weeks."

According to data, the market is so tight that the "region’s entire inventory of homes for sale could be consumed in as little as two months."

Washington has boomed as those in the permanent political class have benefited with the expansion of government in the last decade. The region has a high concentration of government, legal, consulting, political, and military jobs. In recent years, technology and "big data" companies have set up shop in the region.

D.C.'s economy "has traditionally been far more robust than most of the rest of the country," but this phenomenon has been put on steroids over the last decade, as seven of the country's ten wealthiest suburbs surround Washington, D.C. As the rest of the country tries to recover economically, D.C.'s "stable economy continues to attract people looking for work" and the "recent budget cuts from the federal sequester have not significantly affected the local labor market." 

D.C. had "relative immunity from the housing crisis," which meant that demand never dried up in the region while supply did not keep pace, according to analysts.

In addition, Washington has expensive rents in areas without rent control. Apartments in the heart of city run north of $2,000 a month and prices in gentrified areas are also rising. As a result, even more D.C. residents are looking to purchase homes instead of paying exorbitant rents. 


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