I was reading over a BusinessWeek article the other day and I came across an interesting stat. While the media is predicting doom and gloom for the housing market, DC is expected to have a 2.6% rise in home prices.
The causes for this rise are numerous and much like anything in the economy no one factor can say why homes in DC will cost more next year. The one economic stimulus that experts point to is the dependency of government jobs.
Typically in times of economic depression the government will see a flux in new hires from people looking for secure jobs and good benefits. Whatever the cause for the increase we can expect to see a nice little upswing in the DC market for home cost in the upcoming year.
What does this all mean for DC? A rise in the cost for homes could mean an increase in tax revenue for the city. More taxes could mean more city services (transit, police, fire). As fuel and living cost rise, cities with excess cash can position themselves to attract younger residents looking to enjoy life.
Community developers should be looking to create a lifestyle in their community, not just a place to live. Many of today’s buyers are looking for an exciting place to live, not just a place to live; walking to shops, casual eating and light entertainment will bring new buys in and make them stay.
If the cost of housing goes up in DC, and there is an influx of cash, urban developers should focus on creating communities that will attract buyers for years to come. It would be foolish of DC to pass up an opportunity to excel while other markets are stagnant.
With proper planning and superior execution DC can position itself as a city that lets people work and play in a safe and friendly environment. If the market predictions are right, and DC does see in increase in home coast and in turn tax revenue, what would you like to see the city do to improve the quality of life?