City Paper is not for tourists
The Examiner reports that housing markets in the region are getting close to their 2005 highs. In the District, the median home price now is at 90 percent of its level at the peak of the housing boom. But not so fast—-the rising tide that appears to be lifting all boats is probably only helping out the rich.
[P]rice data may be skewed, warned Anirban Basu, chairman and chief executive officer of Baltimore economic consulting firm Sage Policy Group. Lenders are more cautious than ever, requiring higher credit scores and lending only to buyers in more stable communities. As a result, it is easier for more affluent buyers — who are more likely to spend more — to get mortgages.
Basu was talking about the rise of Fairfax in comparison to the stalled market in Prince Georges County, but as Lydia Depillis reported a few months ago, that pattern is repeated within the District itself. Places like Georgetown are recovering nicely, but in neighborhoods like Deanwood, housing sales remain sluggish.