Top reasons why the Washington, DC housing market is getting stronger

It's no secret that the housing market has been shaky these past several years. However, there are a variety of signs pointing toward the notion that Washington, DC real estate is slowly growing stronger and more stable. Whether it's because people looking at the homes for sale in Washington, DC are in love with the cherry blossoms, the quaint shops in Georgetown or the idea of sharing a zip code with the president, the desire for properties in the nation's capital keeps the market trending upward.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there are a variety of signs proving the real estate industry as a whole is showing improvement. Aspects such as the fact that more building permits were given this past February, or permission needed to build new construction, than there has been since October 2008.

Another indicator? It has never been more affordable to buy a home as opposed to rent a home. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Affordability Index Rating even hit a record high in January of 206.1, according to the the news outlet. Furthermore, the employment rate is increasing all over the country, including in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC is also now seeing its fair share of bidding wars, another indicator of the stabilizing housing market. The source states that about 50 percent of the offers put on properties for sale in the nation's capital, as well as cities like Boston and Seattle, are receiving multiple bids.

The housing market in this area is trending upward so much so that CNBC is calling it one of the strongest in the country. The source reports pending home sales were up 11 percent in February year over year, and up an impressive 39 percent so far this year. 

"We have seen a steady increase of consumers testing the waters of the housing market, thanks to increases in median sale price, quickly selling homes and historically low interest rates. These dynamics continue to drive positive momentum in the residential real estate market throughout Washington, DC," said  President and CEO of Long and Foster, Jeffrey S. Detwiler.

The most recent Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released March 27, 2012, shows that although some metropolitan areas are struggling in terms of home price decreases, Washington, DC, as well as Miami and Phoenix, were the only major metro areas where home prices experienced appreciation.