It's been a steady period of real estate growth for Arlington County, Virginia with median sales prices up 4.4% year-over-year. With the market entering the key 3rd quarter of the year, there's certain questions that crop up. Will a continuing trend of historically low inventory boost sales prices further? Will an emerging seller's market discourage possible buyers during peak summer months? It's not likely. Although active listings are still down in Arlington County, an unexpected spike in new listings is helping to temper the effect.
Recent data shows sales at a seven-year high for Washington Metro as well as Arlington County. The surge in new listings shows that sellers are encouraged by the rise in closing sales prices and are no longer as willing to sit on the sidelines and wait. While new listings may help to take some pressure off buyers when it comes to price, the influx isn't likely to keep pace with demand. Typically, July is a very active month in the Arlington market with a seasonal slowdown beginning as the summer months come to an end. Whether that runs true to course this year is anyone's guess.
One of the most interesting trends in Arlington real estate is an overall disparity between value and sales. Closing prices in the county experienced an upward spike during the last quarter but lagged earlier in the 12-month year-over-year cycle. On whole, median sales prices for the past year have not experienced as much growth as Washington DC, Fairfax or Prince George's County. On the other hand, actual property values have been on a much more consistent upward pattern. Data giant Zillow estimates a strong 8.2% climb in the value index, year-over-year. This is good news for buyers as it indicates a market with a healthy value to cost ratio.
It's one thing to estimate overall real estate trends for Arlington for the 3rd quarter, but that doesn't necessarily take all of the individual communities into account. An overview of housing in the county shows an even divide between single-family homes and condos. There's also a rich diversity when it comes to neighborhood types, including suburban neighborhoods of varying median values and higher-density communities where sales are increasingly driven by townhouses and condos. Just to get an idea of how different these sectors can be, lets take a look at some sample neighborhoods.
The real estate market in Donaldson Run is primarily driven by upscale single-family homes with a median list price of $924,900 and an emphasis on new and recent construction. Cherrydale is an old and well-established neighborhood with beautiful Colonials and Victorians with a median list of $857, 900. The high end of the market here goes well into seven-figure territory. Popular Clarendon-Courthouse epitomizes trendy loft and upscale condo living with lots of shops and restaurants and an average list price of $569,900. And when it comes to affordable first-time homes, Buckingham is almost entirely made up of condo properties with a median list price of $270,000.
All this really shows is that you need to take each neighborhood on its own merits. There's far too many to cover individually in this article but it's safe to say that there's plenty of variety in Arlington. From enclaves that are rich in history to bedroom suburbs where new home construction is on the rise, there's something for everybody. It's also worth tracking progress along the venerable Columbia Pike where long-percolating revitalization efforts are finally paying off. In short, Arlington real estate trends for the 3rd quarter include strong value to cost, rising new construction starts, diversity of neighborhoods and fewer days on market.
Andre Perez | District One Properties LLC | Realtor/Agent/Owner
1305 Leslie Ave, Alkexandria, VA 22301