D.C. housing lagging behind other markets: It’s a good thing

WASHINGTON — The monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index continues to show home values in the D.C. market are rising more slowly than most other big cities, but that could be interpreted as a sign of a healthy local market.

S&P says the median price of a home in the 20 largest cities in November was up 5.8 percent from a year earlier, the biggest annual gain since July 2014. In D.C., the annual gain as of November was 2.13 percent.

“Modest price growth in the Washington metro is actually a good sign that the housing market is in balance, as 2.13 percent price growth year-over-year isn’t much higher than inflation,” Trulia Inc. Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin tells WTOP. “In addition, job growth in Washington has been on par with national job growth, growing roughly 2.1 percent year-over-year.”

San Francisco, Denver and Portland continue to lead the nation in home price appreciation. Prices in those three cities in November were all up about 11 percent from a year earlier.

Among the 20 largest cities, only Chicago had a smaller annual increase in home prices than D.C., up 1.97 percent from a year earlier.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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