When it comes to the question - "How's the real estate Market?" I always point to the job market first. After all, "Homes are where the jobs go at night." And in the Washington, D.C. area, local economist say we're headed toward a boon of a jobs market in the coming years. 
More than 200,000 jobs on the way
The George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis runs the numbers on job growth and D.C. is growing at a rate ahead of the need for housing. In the next 5 years, there will be more than 295,000 net new jobs in Northern Virginia, D.C. and suburban Maryland. Northern Virginia will garner the most of those with about 100,000 net new jobs in just the coming three years.
Another interesting part about this job growth is that the federal government is slipping from being the front runner employer. Private industry is slowly but surely taking the front spot.
So what will that do to the housing market? Well, we aren't growing the housing pool that fast, meaning the pressure on the inventory will most likely push price appreciation even more than what we've seen this last year.
Want the deeper data? Visit this link for a presentation by CRA Chief Economist Stephen Fuller on what to expect.