Articles from Realtor Magazine, a national publication sent to every Realtor in the country, rarely resonate with me. Because real estate is so local, much of the content is normally not applicable to the Washington DC area real estate market. But I just finished reading a short piece, "The Rise of Micro Markets" and it was one of the first pieces that I've read that has clearly outlined the concept of "markets within markets". Short and concise, it didn't specifically mention the Washington, D.C. market (in fact it spoke mostly about San Jose, California), but its content certainly applies to us.
What it says, in a nutshell, is that in a slowing market, a property's location becomes even more important and that you can't generalize about a city...or even about a neighborhood within the city. Instead, "Micro Markets" can be defined in terms of blocks or sometimes in terms of types of housing. Since I do a lot of my business, for instance, in downtown Bethesda townhomes, I have often argued that this product is a "micro niche." You can neither compare this housing to Bethesda as a whole, nor can you compare to townhomes in general. And, in fact, the very limited complexes of downtown Bethesda townhomes are, in my opinion, each a "micro, micro niche."
Simply said, it's all about location....and even locations within locations...and the value of each mini location becomes even more pronounced in a "slower" market.