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Ask Adam: Dissecting the Arlington Real Estate Market

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question: I’ve heard that the Arlington real estate market it is in full rebound.  Is that the case for the entire Arlington market or just certain price ranges or types of homes? 

Personally, I’ve been experiencing a high amount of activity in every segment of the Arlington real estate market since the start of 2013.  In order to answer your question I am going to dissect the actual sales data from the local MLS for the first quarter of 2013.

First I am going to break down the various price points by the number of sales that occurred, average days on market (DOM) and the average list price to sales price ratio.

Ask Adam DOM Chart Ask Adam Ratio Chart

Some observations based on this data:

  • The heaviest concentration of sales lie below $700,000. This is not a surprise.  This is the portion of the market that is affordable to the greatest number of home buyers in Arlington.
  • The price ranges with the fewest average days on market are $300,000-$400,000 and $600,000-$700,000.  These two price ranges are the “sweet spots” for newer 1 and 2 bedroom condos along the Orange Line.  It’s a portion of the market that is on fire right now.
  • It’s amazing to me that the average sales price to list price ratio is above 99% for homes between $300,000 and $800,000.  If you are entering the market as a buyer, set your expectations accordingly.

A common misconception among people new to Arlington real estate is that 1 bedroom condos are going to be a lot harder to sell than 2 bedroom condos.  This simply is not the case. It’s true that more people would prefer 2 bedrooms, but fewer people can afford them.  The result is that they both do pretty well.

Ask Adam Condo Chart

  • You can see that 1 bedrooms just barely edge out 2 bedrooms on the number of sales.  I think this delta could be larger, but there are simply not enough 1 bedroom condos on the market to satisfy demand right now.
  • 1 Bedroom condos are selling a little quicker on average, but the sales price to list price ratios are almost identical.

Another comparison is between condos, townhouses and single family houses (SFH).

Ask Adam Type Home Comparison

  • Though the number of condo and SFH sales far outnumbered townhouse sales, townhouses are selling in 3 weeks on average.  They are also selling within a 0.5% of asking price on average.  That’s great news for townhouse owners, but not so good news for anyone in the market for a townhouse.  No wonder Ballston Green is selling out so quickly!
  • Only in Arlington would the highest house sales price be tied with the highest condo sales price ($3,600,000).

To answer your question, the higher you go on price the longer it is taking homes to sell and the more negotiation room you may find.  That said, the entire Arlington real estate market looks pretty healthy.

Please reach out to me if you interested in more information about particular niche of the market.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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