Rising home values in DC suburbs

The District has fared much better than average in terms of its recovery from the housing crisis that shook the county in the late 2000s. This is especially true in terms of neighborhoods within the city and those just along its edges. However, to truly gauge the health of a metro's housing market, it is sometimes important to look at it from a wider vantage point. In some circumstances, big gains in certain regions of a market can belie sagging sales in other areas. However, when it comes to the homes for sale in Washington, DC, this is not the case.

In recent months, analysts have been examining some of the farther-flung communities in the metro DC region to see if the suspected recovery has made it that far. Many experts believe that this type of research reveals significantly more about an area than simply measuring home prices and total sales. Exploring how the market is faring in outer suburbs, which typically follow inner-ring neighborhoods in a strengthening market, can help you predict how the market is performing in a more general sense.

According to The Washington Post, more distant neighborhoods in the DC area have been posting substantial gains lately. Arlington and Fairfax counties, both in Virginia, have been doing well for months, but counties just beyond them in Virginia have been catching up. In the first seven months of 2012, the average price of a single-family detached home in Prince William County rose 5.2 percent compared to the same period in 2011, according to the source. Stafford County saw similar increases.

Furthermore, the higher rate of townhouse sales has spread from the inner suburbs to the outer. In Montgomery County, another suburb of DC, the first seven months of 2012 saw another increase in townhouse prices, as they rose 9 percent compared to the same period last year.

What does this mean for home values in the city?
As more buyers become optimistic about the housing market in distant suburbs, their confidence is likely to be reflected in rising home values within the city itself. The more people who come to DC, often lured by the strong economy, the more home values throughout the metro area are likely to increase. Demand for homes within a region, both in the city and out of it, typically rises in tandem with a healthy market, which DC continuously demonstrates itself to be.