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The Washington D.C. Housing Market Completely Flipped in One Decade

Trends in Washington D.C. housing affordability is similar to other cities around the country, but is also unique in how swiftly the housing market has shifted.
October 7, 2014, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Back in 2005, before the new apartments went up in NoMa, and along 14th Street, and near the Nationals' ballpark, there was more housing in D.C. renting for less than $500 a month than for more than $1,500 [inflation-adjusted, 2012 dollars]," according to Emily Badger. Since then however, the market has been flipped upside down. "By 2012, the most expensive rental units outnumbered the cheapest ones — by more than a three-to-one ratio."

Badger explains the forces driving the change: "The changing shape of the city's housing over this short time reflects two powerful trends that are playing out in other big cities, too: Housing that was once more affordable has grown less so, while most of the new housing that's been built has catered to wealthier (and newer) residents."

Badger goes on to provide insight into a new study by the Urban Institute called "Washington D.C.: Our Changing City," which shows how critical the rental market is to understand the evolution of Washington D.C. Also cited is data from NeighborhoodInfoDC showing "that nearly every corner of the city has increased its housing supply." That new supply, however, has not been sufficient in maintaining previous levels of affordability given the large-scale influx of upper-income, childless residents.

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Published on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 in The Washington Post - Wonkblog
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