The D.C. bubble

Washington, D.C.

There’s been a lot of talk as of late about the U.S. housing bubble. Nationwide, the trends don’t look all that great. According to the Times, “existing and new home sales declined sharply in the first quarter of this year and permits for future construction in April were down 28 percent from their year-ago levels.”

It’s a bleak picture — but one whose brunt force is being felt in recently overbuilt areas, like Las Vegas, Florida and Kazakstan (blame Borat!). But, as the Times points out in an op-ed, there are other regions, like the NY-metro area, where the “boom of the last few years will simply fizzle out into an extended period of flat or slowly rising home prices and sales.”

But what about here in the nation’s capital?

May’s condo housing report is out. And it shows inventory down 12.8% and contracts up 15.7%. The median price is essentially holding steady, down less than $5,000 to $350k.

Does this make it a seller’s or buyer’s market? It seems that currently the area’s housing market is in something of a holding pattern — and only time will really tell how things pan out here.

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