The Washington metro-area housing market continues to be one of the strongest in the nation, with many motivated and qualified buyers eager to purchase property and call the nation’s capital home. Young professionals are a growing and key factor in this renewed interest in living the district as the city is seeing a surge in popularity as one the top cities to live in the country.
When you mention to a longtime D.C. resident that Washington is now one of the hippest cities in the U.S., they may look at you in disbelief. But wait, it’s true. Some 20 years ago, Seattle was at the top of the hip list, but now D.C., along with Houston, has displaced Seattle as being one of the top cities for attracting young people.
In fact, the average age in the District is 36 with some 10,000 people ages 25-34, having moved here between 2009 and 2011, in a trend that will only continue according to top urbanists and demographers. So why is D.C. now so appealing to young professionals?
One of the key factors is the job market and the opportunities that abound for educated young professionals with everything the city has to offer. The district’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country and career options are excellent in Washington, D.C. with the federal government and all the spin offs in business, science and the arts that radiate outward from government. Young people see greater potential to find employment and professional growth in the District than other areas and can relocate because they have the most flexibility to move anywhere in the country to make opportunities for themselves.
Another big draw for young professionals is the city’s dynamic and rich cultural and social scenes. From the galleries and museums, restaurants and nightclubs, to the constant calendar of events and activities, the city offers “something for everyone” to take part in and enjoy in a small geographic area. All that the city has to offer is easily accessible with walkable neighborhoods and public transportation that is extremely attractive to young professionals who want to take part in it all.
One of the most noticeable elements of this influx of interest from this generation is reflected in the D.C. real estate market. Downtown D.C. has never been more popular as a place to live. There is a litany of condo projects going up as well as many investors shopping for “redos” in the downtown townhouse neighborhoods, hoping to renovate and “flip” them, making a quick profit by selling in this very competitive market with low inventory. And thanks to the record low interest rates, qualified young buyers can borrow enough to get a starter condo or townhouse at about the same monthly amount they would have to pay to rent.
So, the future for the district continues to look promising with the expectation of continued growth that will be self-perpetuating, making the city more prosperous and influential than it has ever been before. It is a great time to be living in the nation’s capital at this opportune and exciting time when there is so much renewed interest and growth taking place in this vibrant and dynamic city.
Donna Evers is the owner and broker of Evers & Co. Real Estate, the largest woman-owned and run residential real estate firm in the Washington Metro area and the proprietor of Twin Oaks Tavern Winery in Bluemont, Va. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.