The things that surprise mainstream commentators never cease to surprise me.
Megan McArdle can’t figure out what’s going on with property prices in a particular DC neighborhood.
I don’t want to defend any particular price for this house, however some demographic information may shed some light on the paradox that Ms McArdle has unearthed.
Not that long ago, this neighborhood was ground zero of the crack epidemic in DC. Even The Atlantic noticed.
More recently, the neighborhood has gentrified a lot. The house McArdle’s links to is in zip code 20002. If you go here and put in that zip code, you might notice something.
This particular house is right on the gentrifying line. Blocks just west and south are largely white while blocks east and north are largely black.
Again, I don’t know what a four bedroom/four bathroom house a few blocks from the US Capitol should be worth. However, it should surprise nobody that it’s worth a lot more if the neighborhood is largely white (and on a new public transportation line) rather almost exclusively black. This transformation has been happening since the late ’90s or early ’00s. Prices have risen accordingly. Yawn.