New construction in the District bodes well

Ronald Paul, CEO of EagleBank in Bethesda, Maryland, has witnessed a lot of construction going on in and around the District. As he drove through the city recently, he noticed small businesses and offices in varying stages of completion. He also noticed a number of small banks entering new communities, which, given his profession, is not surprising.

"I've noticed more and more construction activity lately, and that's a good sign," he wrote in a recent post for the Huffington Post.

Like many people in the financial world, Paul sees this construction as a positive sign for the region's economy. As the housing market improves and new residents keep pouring into the city, commercial, industrial and residential builders are likely to feel more optimistic about projects. This could also be a good sign for people considering buying one of the homes for sale in Washington, DC, as increased building activity likely signals increased property demand, which typically leads to higher property values.

This mounting positive sentiment is being felt not just in DC, but across the country. According to the most recent National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index, national builder sentiment is at its highest level in more than six years. As in the District, this optimism likely stems from low mortgage rates and growing demand.

There is reason to believe that this is especially true in Washington, DC. The city remains a popular place for commercial builders to develop properties, as evidenced by the metro's inclusion on a recent list of the top 10 "Markets to Watch."

The list, compiled by the Urban Land Institute and the accounting firm PwC US, had DC ranked among other prominent cities like New York, San Francisco and Houston. According to the report, a strengthening economy is expected to increase commercial construction and investment in these cities in 2013. Commercial real estate prices have steadily climbed since the nadir of the recession, leading some investors to consider the District "recession-proof," The Wall Street Journal reports.

All these statistics support EagleBank CEO Ronald Paul's anecdotal evidence. The local banks sprouting in many communities, the new residential units underway, the multi-use venues nearing completion - these, Paul believes, are all signs that DC is working hard to regain its pre-recession vigor.

"This is how we build a strong economy," he wrote. "Literally from the ground up."