Ryan Avent on the housing bubble collapse:

it’s an exurb thing. There aren’t really any metropolitan areas in the country that have been immune to these housing problems (although the Pacific Northwest and Charlotte have come close), but within just about every city, the problems are focused on the outer edges. This isn’t surprising. Families forced to the outer edges of cities are the most financially marginal, and they’re also those whose budgets are most affected by rising energy costs



In DC proper, there's an interesting effect: prices are collapsing, but a lot of buyers don't seem to realize it. Craigslist and the Washington Post have a lot of ads with prices several hundred thousand dollars above the market value of what they're selling--$800K for a two bedroom new construction townhouse condo in Columbia Heights, for example, when a whole rowhouse in Logan Circle is now listed for a little over a million. Some of these ads are from obviously addled private owners, but others are from delusional developers, whom one would think ought to know better. Their ads are sandwiched between ones selling clearly better properties for less money; who answers them? The funniest, of course, are the ones that attempt to make up for their too-high prices by simply asserting that the property is worth much more than the list price. Because it's well known that sellers frequently charge tens of thousands less than they could.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.