A typical home in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area costs $401,500, more than the national median home value of $194,500.
Home values in the metro area may also be augmented by the health of the local job market. People often relocate for occupational reasons, and an area with lower unemployment is more likely to have more expensive real estate. The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area’s unemployment rate was 3.9% as of August 2016, lower than the 4.9% jobless rate nationwide.
Improved unemployment among the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria workforce over the last five years — like most of the country — may have helped increase home values as a result. Since August 2011, the Washington unemployment rate has fallen by 2.3 percentage points. Over the same period, home values in the metro area increased by 10.0%. Nationwide, the unemployment rate improved by 4.1 percentage points as the median home value increased by 12.0%.
Areas with high home values are often fairly well-educated. In addition to the better-paying jobs that educated residents often hold, the presence of good schools and universities are likely to increase demand for nearby homes. In Washington, 49.3% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, a larger share than the 30.6% of Americans with similar education nationwide.