The District's role as an international city
One of the District's most valuable economic strengths is its desirability to foreign immigrants and investors. The city's reputation as a global community and its wealth of jobs for foreign dignitaries allows it to attract a wide range of new residents and international investors. This worldwide appeal helps keep the metro's housing demand high, even when other communities in the country struggle. This is good news for people thinking about buying real estate in Washington, DC, as it helps insulate the housing market against downturns.
In fact, the District has once again popped up on real estate analytics firm Cushman & Wakefield's list of strong international investment markets. Studying the amount of real estate money coming in from foreign investors, the report shows that DC is once again in the exclusive group of other international cities.
"Washington, along with San Francisco, come in next to New York as an investment destination," the reports states.
This is nothing new for the District. As the seat of the American government and the home of thousands of foreign officials, DC has long been one of the biggest players in international real estate investments. Whether it's buying properties to host visiting officials or purchasing real estate to provide access to the Capitol's famous political bigwigs, foreign investors are rarely reluctant to step into the District's real estate market.
Forbes recently compiled a list of the world's best cities for global real estate investment and, unsurprisingly, DC made the cut. In fact, only one U.S. city - New York - was higher. Even as city's from growing superpowers become more globally important - Sao Paulo, Singapore and Beijing all climbed up Forbes' recent list - DC retains its position as a vital international player.
Its stable role as an international city has profound effects on its housing market. Demand for homes near the District's center and government districts help buoy the market, even in otherwise weak times. By tapping into a pool of residents that exceeds far beyond just U.S. residents, DC is often able to keep demand relatively high.
Furthermore, the international citizenry is a draw for many Americans. People who enjoy a wide variety of restaurants and global cultures often choose the District over other U.S. cities. If you're looking for a market that is perennially popular with foreigners - and benefits culturally as a result - DC may be the city in which to find your dream home.