Elizabeth Razzi of the Washington Post has a story on the region's July's market, based mostly on the change in median prices released by the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems in early August.
"There are two housing markets in the Washington area, divided roughly by the Beltway. The recovery has arrived for the District and close-in suburbs. It hasn't for communities farther outside Interstate 495. And in a few spots, most notably Manassas and Manassas Park, recovery is hard even to imagine.
In Arlington, Fuller and Leurdijk may have happened to hit the market's turn dead-on. In July, the median price for a single-family resale home in the county increased nearly 11 percent compared with a year earlier, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, the local multiple listing service. That was the first significant increase since prices headed south in July 2006. (Technically, there was a price increase of 0.2 percent in December, but that's barely enough to register.) Sales volume went up during July in Arlington as well. The number of sales was 7 percent higher than one year earlier".
Here's a chart tracking 10 years of July data in Arlington. There were 303 sales in July and 1,012 active listings. It's definitely an improvement over 2006, when the sales/inventory ratio was slightly worse. But look at the whole 10 years. 303 sales aren't anything spectacular. There were more sales in 1999 (339) and only 590 properties on the market.
And yes, the median price shows an increase. In July 2007, there were 27 sales in Arlington County in the 1M to 2.5M price range. In July 2006, there were 14.
Still, at 3 months of inventory, Arlington's real estate market is doing well for most sellers.