(WashingtonPost) -- The recovery of the Washington area housing market has been well documented — sales are up, prices are rising and inventories are low. Home prices in the Washington region have been up 29 out of the last 33 months. But when it comes to the real estate market, location matters — even in our robust market. Close-in neighborhoods led the recovery but buyers are increasingly heading to the outer suburbs.
The single-family market recovered quickly in Northern Virginia, particularly in Arlington and Fairfax counties. Prices continue to rise in the close-in neighborhoods, but now single-family home prices in the more distant suburbs have started to increase. In the first seven months of 2012, the average price of a single-family detached home in Prince William County was up 5.2 percent compared to 2011. Prices were up 6.4 percent in Stafford County, Virginia. (Some of the price increase is due to a change in the sizes and types of houses sold in 2012 versus 2012. A bigger share of larger homes sold leads to higher average prices.)
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