We've been dipping our toes into the DC housing market recently, but after this weekend, I think I'm just about ready to give up. Anything that comes on the market at a decent price is snapped up almost immediately--by my count, mean time from listing to contract is under seven days.
This should be a golden time for buyers with decent credit, stable incomes, and modest requirement for neighborhood safety. But there's almost no inventory, and what there is, can't be sold.
And she had so looked forward to this opportunity!
Like most renters who hope to buy, I'm rooting for a continued fall, at least in the DC area. (Sorry, homeowners). For people like me in other cities, a new report from Deutsche Bank provides some reason for pessimism about the economy, but optimism about their personal prospects for homeownership: they rate overvalued cities, and are looking for price drops from 20% in San Luis Obispo all the way to 47% in New York City.
But alas, it was not to be, and McArdle must content herself with a rental that doesn't live up to her standards.
Nationwide, we're probably looking at a long period over which house prices don't fall, but they don't really rise much, either, and the market sorts itself out by letting inflation eat away the nominal value of peoples' outstanding mortgages. And over here on Florida Avenue NW, we're probably looking at a few more years crammed into an oddly-laid-out one-bedroom-plus den flip house.
McArdle could move further out and commute like everyone else. It's not quite so hip, but when you are in a relatively low-paid profession you have to compromise. We recommend to McArdle that she ask for a raise large enough to afford one of the charming DC houses so beloved of the media elite. They are grossly underpaying her for her efforts. She should have known better than to settle for journalist wages when other shills and lobbyists are making ten times her wage. But image is everything, and working for AEI or Cato would never have the same cachet as The Atlantic.