If you’re an agent working with DC home buyers, you’re used to hearing all kinds of obstacles before you even get to issue offers. “Housing is too expensive,” ” I won’t live in that part of town because of traffic,” and “I can’t find the home I want to buy.” Those are just a few of the complaints you sometimes get about life in DC.
The complaints you hear from your buyers are a just a small sampling of what is starting to occur. American University’s Kogod School of Business released a report from their Millennial Index in February that showed that millennials are starting to exit DC for other locales due to the cost of housing, traffic, crime and other negative factors. The trend started in 2016, the first year where more people from that age range left the city than moved in. A similar misbalance of exit to entry for millennials into DC is expected in the 2017 numbers.
“Younger professionals come here for the great jobs, great salaries and the diversity of DC,” commented Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker of UrbanLand Company. “Over time, the great salary stops outweighing the negatives of living in DC. There is a whole subset of millennials that are choosing to leave the city for similar job markets.”
Suprisingly, the Baltimore market comes up as a close match to DC when comparing the mix of jobs available. UrbanTurf recently highlighted an interactive feature in the New York Times that comparies cities around the US from a strictly job perspective. The Times makes an assumption that 2 cities with very similar volume of and types of employment opportunities will also offer similar spillover lifestyle characteristics. Using the Times’ 100 point scale for comparisons, Baltimore comes in with a ranking of 79, above huge employment cities on the East Coast like Boston and New York City (both scoring a 77).
The morale of the story for local realtors who keep both DC and Maryland licenses is: When your buyers fuss about DC, take them to Baltimore. When you talk to your past homeowners, mention what’s going on up north. You may just plant the foundation for a future “Let’s sell my DC home and move me to Baltimore” type transaction.
“Baltimore City is a massive market that is starting to pick up momentum at a variety of levels,” continued DiRuggiero. “You have a ton of charming neighborhoods, new retail and mixed use projects starting to appear, and increasing home sales prices that start at a very low level. All of these factors are why we expanded our brokerage presence to include a new Baltimore City office opening up in about 30 days from now.”