Home Prices Drop Most in Areas with Long Commute

by Kathleen Schalch from NPR

Economists say home prices are nowhere near hitting bottom. But even in regions that have taken a beating, some neighborhoods remain practically unscathed. And a pattern is emerging as to which neighborhoods those are.

The ones with short commutes are faring better than places with long drives into the city. Some analysts see a pause in what has long been inexorable — urban sprawl.

The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area has been hit hard. Prices tumbled an average of 11 percent in the past year. That's the big picture. But a look at Ashburn, Va., about 40 miles from the center of town, finds a steeper fall.

In parts of the county, housing prices have dropped 18 percent over that same period. New construction has ground to a halt.

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