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Housing prices up across the region

Wednesday - 8/29/2012, 8:41am  ET

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Home prices are up in each county in the Washington metro area, signaling a positive step for the housing market.

John McClain, a senior fellow at George Mason University who specializes in housing, says the numbers from July look good.

"The housing market is definitely in recovery," says McClain.

McClain examined median home prices for existing homes and some new home sales. He says every county in the area saw an increase from July 2011 to July 2012.

In the entire metro area, median home prices increased by 4.4 percent. In suburban Maryland, prices increased by 5.3 percent. Northern Virginia saw prices increase by 3.7 percent.

A further breakdown of price increases in the region shows the strides the housing market has made in the past year:

  • D.C. - 2.7 percent
  • Alexandria, Va. - 3.2 percent
  • Fairfax County, Va. - 2.4 percent
  • Loudoun County, Va. - 6.2 percent
  • Prince William County, Va. - 5.9 percent
  • Montgomery County, Va. - 2.3 percent
  • Charles County, Va. - 6.2 percent
  • Prince George's County - 7.3 percent

McClain's analysis also shows another perspective on home prices.

In D.C., for example, prices are now 101 percent of what they were at the peak in 2006, the highest comparison in the region.

Alexandria prices are at 97 percent of their peak, while Arlington is at 95 percent.

Outside the Beltway, prices are gaining steam but aren't as strong. In Prince William County, prices are 68 percent of what they were at the peak.

In Maryland, existing foreclosures are causing numbers to struggle more. McClain says prices are 51 percent of their peak in Prince George's County and 70 percent in Charles County.

But McClain is pleased to see increases across the board.

"The whole tide is rising in our region, as well as across the country," McClain says.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)