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Ask Eli: Data on the McMansion Trend

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: New McMansions are popping up everywhere in Arlington. My sense is that as more are built, they’re getting cheaper. What trends are you seeing in these large new homes?

The most popular new home style in Arlington is the Craftsman, so in order to compare apples to apples when looking at the data, I set the criteria to Craftsman homes sold within 3 years of when they were built.

Are there more being built/bought? Yes!

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Are they getting more expensive? Yes, but…

The annual increase in sales price of new Craftsman homes has been slower than the year-over-year increase in average sales price of all detached homes in Arlington.

Ask Eli chart

Are they getting bigger? No, smaller with more bedrooms and bathrooms.

They’re actually trending smaller, but the average number of BRs and full BAs is going up. The trend towards more BAs makes sense to me because a 1:1 BR to BA ratio is popular, but the average family size continues to shrink and people want more open space and fewer rooms, making the increase in BRs an interesting trend.

Ask Eli chart

Do they sell faster? No, they take longer to sell than other homes.

At 100+ median days on market in ’12 and ’15 (50 days on market is normal in Arlington), the higher days on market is primarily driven by the $1.2M+ average price point and that builders generally have price targets they need to hit that are more important than the time it takes it sell.

All of the new McMansions are a controversial topic between the old and new guard in Arlington. What do you think about them?

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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