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  • Bruce Baker

CHEER Releases the First Takoma Park Housing Report Card

Two major findings emerge from the Takoma Park housing report card data. First, Takoma Park has preserved much of its affordable housing , but affordability remains a challenge. Second, Takoma Park real estate values soared through much of the last decade making affordable home ownership opportunities extremely limited.

Throughout the height of the housing bubble of the last decade Takoma Park preserved much of its affordable apartments. The cities rent stabilization ordinance likely played a large role in preserving affordable rental housing. Takoma Park rents are lower than all other areas of the County. The average rent offered to new tenants in multi-family buildings of 12 units or more in 2009 was $898. This is substantially less than the average rents in the greater Takoma Park-Silver Spring area and the County as a whole which offered rents at an average of $1,311 and $1,369 respectively.

Although rents are lower in Takoma Park, the share of renters who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing (i.e. housing cost burdened households) is higher than it is for the County as a whole. In the Takoma Park area 38% of renter household are housing cost burdened compared to 34% county-wide.

The median sales price for a single-family home in Takoma Park increased by 114% between 2000 and 2008 from $194,200 to $416,000. This increase is greater than for single family homes County wide, which increased by 73%.

Because of the rapid increase in Takoma Park home prices, only a handful of homes in 2008 sold for an amount that would have been affordable to households earning 80% of the area median income. To be affordable to a moderate income household the price of the home would have had to be about $167,000.

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