A 10-year history of DC’s housing market in one chart

WASHINGTON — When the housing downturn hit, home values did not fall as much in D.C. as they did in many other cities, but there has still been a notable recovery since prices here bottomed out.

Median prices across the D.C. region are now back to pre-recession levels, and since the median price hit bottom in 2009, prices have rallied back 22.5 percent, from a 2009 median price of $355,000 to a median price last month of $435,000.

Still, the D.C. region’s recovery looks tame compared to the region’s go-go days leading up to 2007.

“From 1997 to 2000, the D.C.-metro market saw single digit appreciation year-over-year,” said Jonathan Hill, who is with the listing service MRIS.  “Beginning in 2001, we began to see double-digit increases of 12 to 25 percent, and there was never any decrease. It just kept increasing and increasing.”

The first decrease came when the median price in the D.C. region fell from $435,000 in July 2007 to $381,000 a year later. By July 2009, the median price in D.C. had dropped to $355,000.

Hill said the current D.C. market is much more normal.

“We have seen a return to mostly single-digit appreciation and a return to a more cyclical market that reflects our seasonal activity,” Hill said.

That means slow sales in January and February; then a rally in March and April, with the greatest number of contracts written in May and June and settlements in July. The market will slow down again in the fall.

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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