Rep. Steny H. Hoyer is moving, a prospect that has drawn the intense interest of more than his real estate agent.

The Prince George's County Democrat's decision to move from District Heights to Mitchellville is titillating state politicos at a time when legislators are preparing to redraw the boundaries of congressional districts.

Hoyer is selling his District Heights house, where he has lived for more than 20 years, for personal, not political reasons, said Charles M. Seigel, a spokesman for Hoyer. The representative is buying a town house outside the Capital Beltway because his three children no longer live with him and his wife, and they need less space, Seigel said.

But in Maryland's political circles, there already is speculation regarding redistricting in Prince George's County. The county's population is about 50 percent black, and politicians have discussed the possibility of a new "inside-the-Beltway" House district that would be predominantly black and would include Hoyer's current home.

Seigel said Hoyer's move "has nothing to do with redistricting, because right now we have no idea what district he might end up in. I don't see this move as a major strategic change in where he lives in the county." A senior Democratic lawmaker agreed, saying the decision was "99.9 percent personal."

But another Democratic lawmaker said the move will put Hoyer "at the vortex of reapportionment in the county. Some of {the reasons for the move} are personal, but some of them are driven by the realities of reapportionment."

Because Hoyer's new house is near the geographic center of Prince George's County, that lawmaker said, Hoyer can be placed in a House district that could include virtually any part of the county. A house in District Heights "grossly limits what you can do" during redistricting, the lawmaker said. "Mitchellville doesn't."

The Maryland General Assembly plans to reshape the state's eight House districts during a special session next October. Under federal law, members of Congress are not required to live in the districts they represent. But as a practical political matter, all incumbents want to live inside their district boundaries.

Hoyer has represented Maryland's 5th District, which includes most of Prince George's County, since 1981, and holds the fourth-ranking leadership position among House Democrats. Southern Prince George's is part of the 4th District, which is represented by two-term Democratic Rep. Thomas C. McMillen.

Maryland's redistricting process is controlled by Democrats, and legislative leaders say creating a comfortable district for Hoyer is among their top priorities. But as Prince George's County's black population has increased, some black leaders have advocated a predominantly black congressional district that would include the inner-Beltway part of the county.

Hoyer overwhelmingly defeated a black challenger, Abdul Alim Muhammad, in September's Democratic primary. But senior Democrats say that in his current district, Hoyer could be vulnerable to a stronger black candidate in the future.

"They have been planning this for months," Seigel said. "But he could have moved across the street this year, and someone would have said it was because of redistricting."