This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!
Question: Are you seeing a sharp increase in the asking prices of homes in Arlington, as reported by Realtor.com, since Amazon announced HQ2?
Answer: You guessed it, the national media is wrong about Arlington’s housing market (sort of). I don’t mean to jump on the Fake News bandwagon, but a few weeks ago Realtor.com ran a misleading article, that got a ton of coverage here, stating that the median asking price of homes in Arlington were up $110,000 or 17.3% from November 2018 to April 2019.
I was suspicious of their report because I’m not seeing that type of increase in the asking prices of homes across Arlington, so I dug into the numbers a bit more to understand why the data looks that way.
Technically, they weren’t wrong/lying but like most reports about local markets, they chose the version of the data with the biggest numbers to generate the most clicks and reposts without regard to whether it’s an accurate representation of our market.
The Truth Is In The Details
The reason the median price is up so much isn’t because owners are actually asking that much more for homes, it’s because the number of homes listed from January-May 2019 vs January-May 2018 for under $700k is down nearly 27% compared to a decrease of just over 9% for homes over $700k.
This has shifted the middle/median up substantially, but doesn’t actually indicate owners are asking more for their homes rather that there’s just less availability of homes under $700k.
For reference, the average listing price is up just 5.6%, to $782,156, in the first five months of 2019, a more accurate representation of the actual increase to asking prices.
The main reason for the drop-off in housing supply below $700k is the decrease in 1-2 BR condos, as detailed in the chart below:
To highlight how easy it is to manipulate housing data to show the opposite of what Realtor.com claims to be happening in our market, I looked at three sub-markets to compare how median price is changing within similar housing stock.
Looking at cross-sections of a local market with similar housing stock allows us to draw a more accurate picture of what’s actually happening, but even the chart below is misleading because it suggests asking prices are dropping this year, which isn’t true.
So What’s Actually Happening?
Over the last few months I have started to see asking prices increase. Occasionally I’ll see an asking price 15-20%+ higher than where it would’ve been last year, but mostly it seems asking prices for similar types of homes are up by 3-5% which is why you’re still seeing so many homes sell for above ask because most market values have increased by more than that (I’ve teed this one up perfectly for famed ARLnow commenter $4 Million to Heirs Annually).
Next month I’ll be working closely with Jeannette Chapman of George Mason University’s Fuller Institute to provide a detailed look at the Arlington housing market through the first half of 2019. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Jeannette on multiple columns to bring you more advanced market studies and opinions.
If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A former ABC News producer whose Columbia Pike apartment was raided by the FBI last year has been sentenced. James Gordon Meek, 53, pleaded guilty in July to transportation and…
Metrorail service was suspended on the Blue and Yellow lines today after a train derailed.
4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage 1/4 acre Jamestown Williamsburg Yorktown pyramid
At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting an online workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” Wednesday, October 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Every great endeavor begins with a great plan. This workshop will give you the tools