The local housing market is gaining steam.
But it feels like there are two housing markets in one, says John McClain, senior fellow at George Mason University.
According to new numbers being analyzed by McClain, existing home sales are up an average of 40 percent in the metropolitan region, when comparing sales from November with sales from November 2008.
Sales are up 98 percent in D.C.; 78 percent in Maryland and 16 percent in Northern Virginia.
McClain says lower prices are fueling big spikes in sales.
Home prices are in the positive territory for the first time since early 2007. McClain says overall in the region, home prices were up 3 percent in November, compared with November 2008.
But the price increase relies heavily on Northern Virginia, where prices spiked by 10 percent. Home prices have gone up for three consecutive months.
In the rest of the region, home prices are still down. In Maryland, home prices are down by 9 percent. In D.C., they’re down by 7 percent.
However, people should put the Northern Virginia numbers in perspective. Last year, prices were down by 30 percent when compared with 2007 data.
“Northern Virginia went up the most and went down the most, but has come out the earliest,” McClain says.
He says Maryland and D.C. should soon follow suit, rebounding in home prices as well as home sales.