Housing Prices' Upside from Local Enforcement

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on December 29, 2010

The latest Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 of the nation's cities worries homeowners, people in the construction industry and those involved in the real estate sector. This composite index from the Standard & Poor's unit shows the price of houses in 16 of 20 U.S. markets has fallen since May.

From June/July 2006 to October 2010, Case-Shiller's 20-city composite measured a 29.3 percent drop in home prices. Nationwide, Case-Shiller reports a price rebound of 4.4 percent nationally from the low point in April 2009 to this October.

But one of the four areas where housing prices appreciated is the Washington metropolitan area – 3.7 percent in 2010. Within that region, Prince William County, Virginia, enjoyed a double-digit price rise. While the Washington, D.C., region generally saw housing prices rise this year over 2009, Prince William's home prices outpaced the rest of the D.C. region, enjoying 20 percent home-price appreciation.

Prince William County, it will be remembered, was home to a significant number of illegal aliens. Its officials, led by Corey Stewart, chairman of the Board of County Supervisors, actually did something about it in response to the outcry of citizens. Though vilified by open-borders types and the mainstream news media, county officials adopted an enforcement policy that led thousands of illegal aliens to move out of the county.

Obviously, the county's immigration-related policy wasn't the only reason for this rebound in housing prices during a down market for most of the rest of the country. But no one can deny that engineering the departure of thousands of illegals who overcrowded single-family houses, broke zoning laws, and drove down housing values did contribute to the county's housing price appreciation.