High-end home sales lead growing property market in DC

Sales of expensive, highly coveted homes can be a useful indicator of the general health of a region's overall housing market. If homebuyers at the high end of the spectrum are confident enough to purchase a multimillion dollar property, it likely signals that values across the metro are rising and the area is becoming a more attractive option. Therefore, people considering buying one of the homes for sale in Washington, DC, should take special note of news that the District has been undergoing a sharp rise in the sale of luxury real estate.

A report issued in July by the city's offices of the Chief Financial Officer and Revenue Analysis shows that second quarter sales of single-family units over $1 million were up 3.9 percent over the second quarter in 2011.

Echoing that rise, the quarterly Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index for DC was 4.7 percent above last year's rate. This news is even better for the region when you consider that the country as a whole has seen a 1.3 percent decline.

Bolstered by these high-end property sales, the metro's average selling price for all available homes was up 5.4 percent in June 2012 when compared to the same period last year. With sales of expensive homes buoying the rest of the market, some real estate professionals within the city believe the market is nearing full recovery from the housing bust in the late 2000s.

One reason could be the city's shrinking unemployment rate. According to the report, wage and employment were both up during this period. At 9.1 percent, unemployment in the city is now at its lowest rate since March 2009, according to NBC.

"For yet another month, the District can report job growth and a drop in our unemployment rate," DC Mayor Vincent Gray said, the news source reports.

As jobs and wages improve and property sales continue to increase, the metro's attractiveness continues to grow. Those who are thinking of buying real estate in Washington, DC, might want to do so before the market's prices increase any more. Rising job opportunities and home sales are traditionally viewed as signals that property values within a community will climb.