Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Montgomery County Median New Home Prices hit $1.1 Million

The Montgomery County Planning Department released a housing study today concluding that the median price for a new single-family detached home in Montgomery County crested $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2007. In a finding the department called "startling", the report determined that prices in the county for existing single-family homes and new townhouses decreased slightly to just above $500,000, but that new detached homes jumped from just $860,000 last year to $1.133m this year, and that average prices for all types of housing increased 8 percent in the first quarter while prices were flat, it said, for the rest of the Washington, D.C. area as a whole.

Researchers say that developers appear to be responding to current trends in the housing market by focusing on building high-end houses, demand for which remains strong, rather than adapting to more price-sensitive markets.

Although county law already requires residential developers to sell 12.5 percent of their new units as "moderately priced", as well as add "workforce housing" for any development of 35 or more new housing units near Metro Stations, the Planning Board was cognizant of the din this will raise among the public, and was quick to add that it "and other officials are working to provide affordable housing options...the Planning Board has placed even greater emphasis on the importance of affordable housing opportunities in the county, initiating a new housing study that will become a new element of the county’s General Plan."

The Board also announced, coincidentally, that late this month it would send new recommendations to the County Council suggesting the Council require developers to pay even higher impact fees to offset the costs of infrastructure, including roads and schools, required by brand-new homes. The new fees would equal approximately $31,000 in impact taxes levied upon the developer of most new homes, according to the Board.


Anonymous said...

You gotta love planners and politicians. Somehow, in the same breath and with a straight face, they are able to claim that they are "startled" by the high cost of housing in their county while also recommending an additional $31,000 tax on new construction. Where do they think that that money will come from? From the sales price of new homes perhaps? Duh. Real "Planning" requires more than the imposition of fees and knee-jerk reactions to NIMBY protests. Either allow higher-density development closer in or watch builders and buyers move to further-out burbs where they can afford to build and buy . . . then wave at them as they commute past your neighborhoods on already over-crowded roads.


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