- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Considering how concerned everyone is about housing prices, I thought it would be interesting to chart different housing types by location.

I have included both new and resale homes, which revealed a few surprises. For instance, in Alexandria last year, the average base price for new condos was lower than the average price of resale condos.

In Prince William County, where sales slowed dramatically last year, new single-family homes aren’t selling for much more than the existing ones.

In the District, new attached homes (which include town houses and duplexes) sold for $150,000 less than existing attached homes. That probably is more a factor of the kind of new homes being built — condominiums — than the relative value of new and resale homes.

The charts reveal something else that is not very surprising: If you want a more affordable home, it usually means a longer commute.

If you can’t afford $700,500 for the average single-family home in Montgomery County, you can drive a little farther north to Frederick, where the average was $443,700.

That is still an expensive home for many buyers, which is why town homes are so popular. Realtors tell me this is the hottest segment of the market right now.

It’s easy to understand why when you realize that attached homes sold last year for $100,000 to $300,000 less than single-family homes.

Overall, the best home values are found in Maryland. Frederick, Charles and Prince George’s counties all were much more affordable last year than any of the nearby Virginia jurisdictions.

Even if you drive all the way down to Stafford County in Virginia, you will find that many housing types cost more than in those three Maryland counties.

Contact Chris Sicks by e-mail ([email protected]gmail.com).

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