Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tale of Two Cities

Its now been a little over a year since we left the D.C. metro area. Upon reflection, its amazing how quickly our expectations have adapted to the local market conditions in Sacramento. Both metro areas heavily dependent on government largess, however D.C.'s economy is a bit more diversified than Sacramento's.

Sacramento's data is shown with the solid markers, and D.C.s has the transparent markers. Over the years, the two cities have experienced remarkably similar housing cycles (I haven't compared with the rest of the nation to know if this is common or not). However the last two years has seen some divergence.

Sacramento prices are adjusting downward, while D.C. appears to be hitting a plateau. Looking at income statistics by county can explain some of what we are seeing. Fairfax County, where we lived, and neighboring Alexandria, Arlington, Fall Church, and Loudoun (as well as across the Potomac in Montgomery County MD) all rank within the top 25 in the nation. As for California, only 4 Bay Area Counties make it into this top 25.

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