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Ask Eli: Mid-year condo market review (Arlington)

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. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channelEnjoy!

Question: How was the market for condos in Arlington during the first half of the year?

Answers: The condo market loves stability, often it’s a bit too stable for most condo owners (low appreciation), so after a wild ride from 2019-2021, we can finally say with a high level of confidence that the Arlington condo market has found its level in the wake of Amazon HQ2 (rapid appreciation) and COVID (supply surge and depreciation).

The data below is based on the sales of apartment-style condos in Arlington during the first six of of the past five years. Note: I filtered out new construction data because it throws off the readings on actual market trends and gives a distorted view of pricing in 2021 (mostly due to 2000 Clarendon sales).

Average Prices Down Slightly

I’m generally not a big fan of using $/SqFt because it can throw off so many false readings, but in this case, I think $/SqFt is a more reliable way of reading the year-to-year price trends of the market than average sale price, but both readings indicate pretty similar market conditions over the past five years.

  • The average price for a 1 BR decreased by .6% to just over $375,600 and the average $/SqFt decreased by 2.5%
  • The average price for a 2 BR decreased by 1% and the average $/SqFt decreased by 3%
  • Overall, prices have changed very little since the Amazon HQ2 bump in 2019, with just 1.6% appreciation for 1 BR in the last five years and 6.9% for 2 BR on an average price basis, and a 2.7% increase for 1 BR and 3.8% increase for 2 BR on a $/SqFt basis
  • On average, condos are selling for just under their original asking price
  • Keeping up with the market-wide trend of low supply, sales volume in the first half of 2023 came in just higher than 2020, when the market froze for Q2. 2023 sales are down well below the first half numbers over the rest of the decade.

  • Just over 50% of condos are selling within the first ten days on market
  • Just over 50% of condos are selling for at or above their original asking price

Poised for Future Price Growth

I expect the second half of the year to be like the first half, but with normal seasonal trends in play, meaning properties will take a bit longer to sell and buyers will be able to negotiate more off the asking price, but expect prices to hold steady for the most part.

However, if rates start coming down by next year, the condo market is poised for strong appreciation (in the condo world, that would be 3-5%). If you look at the first chart below, you’ll see that we are operating with some of the lowest inventory levels we’ve seen in the past decade (bested only by the 16 months of Amazon HQ2 craze), any pop in demand will cause prices to jump with such low inventory levels. The second chart shows Months of Supply is remaining low as well, at about five weeks. Months of Supply measures supply and demand, with lower values indicating a more favorable market for sellers.

These charts suggest a market with a lot of upward pressure on prices, being held back only by the high interest rates.

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Eli Residential channel.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C A

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