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Ask Adam: The Streetcar Effect on Home Prices

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. I saw the article about the rising home prices in Arlington. However, prices in South Arlington (22206) seem to be either stagnant or decreasing. Do you know why?

A. The demand for homes was lower throughout the entire region for a good portion of 2014, which created a fairly well balanced market.

My theory is that there wasn’t a great sense of urgency among homebuyers. Interest rates have been low for so long that consumers are numb to the idea that they may go up significantly at some point. In fact, I think a spike in rates would actually spur activity.

Rents went down, which helps to lower the urgency to buy among renters. Home prices weren’t rising quickly enough to scare anyone or lowering enough to excite anyone. All of these factors combined for an unexciting year for local real estate.

I really don’t think there is anything to worry about. From what I’m seeing in your ZIP code, prices are holding steady for the most part. I expect them to show gradual improvement this year.

The only thing that concerns me a little is the loss of the streetcar. Development along the Columbia Pike corridor was basically stagnant from the late 1970s when the Orange Line Metro began service until recently when the potential for a streetcar began to grow.

The streetcar gave the county a tool to attract new retail, restaurants and development. It is something that often came up when talking with homebuyers looking in South Arlington. I really don’t know how much effect (if any) the loss of the streetcar is going to have on home prices. It is more likely to affect the 22204 ZIP code, but it may have some carryover to the 22206 as well.

It’s just something to keep an eye on. Personally, I think home prices in the area will perform well if Arlington can continue to find ways to attract businesses to the Columbia Pike corridor and Shirlington.

Please keep the questions coming to [email protected]!

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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_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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