Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
Single family home close to Ballston for under $400K. This is about what our 2 bedroom 1 bath townhome in Del Ray sold for in 2005. Here's another in 20007 for the zip code snobs.
I find the descriptions of the two properties having a lot to do with the prices:The place in ballston says "value in land only". The place in 20007 says "mold"!
Cara, just to add--both of those are short sales and apparently in bad condition (from the descriptions). Also, Highview Park is an area of 22207 with probably the lowest land values in all of North Arlington, for complex reasons.
I should have said "short sales or bank owned."There aren't many of these in Arlington, particularly not in N. Arlington.
Ace - would you be able to provide a brief description of the complex reasons related to Highview? Sounds interesting.
Anecdotal observation - In the last week, I've become aware of three small property developers (buy individual lots, tear down, and build new) in north Arlington who appear to have recently run into financial difficulty. They are slashing asking prices on their properties in what appears to be an attempt to raise cash quickly. Looks like the carrying costs finally caught up to some of these guys. Interesting times ahead, I think.
Hi, John, sorry, not on a public website where it could easily be misinterpreted. If you drive through the neighborhood, you may get some ideas. Also, it is not as close to the metro as some other neighborhoods in N. Arlington.
Ace-- I agree. However, I don't remember that there were any of them at these prices-- whatever the condition-- a year or two ago. The thing about foreclosures and short sales is it begins the slow process of resetting people's perceptions. I suspect one reason why prices haven't gone down as much in Arlington and Alexandria is the perception-- widely shared on blogs like this-- that close-in areas are relatively 'safe'. Once that begins to change-- as it did in relatively close-in Montgomery Co. last year-- prices changes can be quite sudden and dramatic. I still remember the first house for under $300,000 I saw in my sister's zip, a short walk to the metro. At the time, most houses were still going for over $400,000. Now almost half are under $300K and some of them are getting close to the $200K line. A little further out in my parents' neighborhood (but still within metro reach) there are now some single family houses for around $150,000. I'm thinking we may buy there when we get back to the US in a few months.
aceThat was Sarah, not Cara ;)anon,the second place says mold, but it's only obvious in one place in the virtual tour, and otherwise has some quite reasonable updates.What "value in land only" means is anyone's guess, they could mean you have to tear it down, or they could have meant that at this price, just the land is worth that.In any case I agree with Sarah's point about distressed properties bringing the perceptions down. And hence have no objection to being conflated with her...
Ace - Google searched High View Park and it does indeed have an interesting history. One account I read said that there was at one time a huge wall built on one side of the community to seperate it from other communities. Kinda hard to believe that wasn't too long ago.
These sorts of properties always lead the way down. It wasn't that long ago that properties like these would have disappeared in bidding wars...
To those who cant read between the lines - its gangland smack in the middle of N Arlington.
I definitely wouldn't want to live in North Arlington if it's full of gangs.
Sorry for the mistaken identity, Sarah and Cara!
NoVAwatcher said... "I definitely wouldn't want to live in North Arlington if it's full of gangs."I haven't seen evidence of gang activity in N. Arlington.Now, SOUTH Arlington is a different matter entirely, in areas where there are concentrations of illegal aliens.
Prices are doing just fine! No downturn here, ever!Got Orange-line Aid?-Deaf Dumb and Blind
I suspect there are not that many distressed mortgages in Arlington, and also there is a very large percentage of Arlington homeowners that have no need to move. They may not be your military types, who transfer every 5 years unless they try to homestead in the DC area. So perhaps those are a few reasons why Arlington is holding up. I notice how San Francisco is holding up also. A typical 2 bedroom/1 bath home in Oakland is selling for $650,000 to $700,000. San Francisco and Arlington are the only two places that appear to be holding up. I wonder if they do fall, how far will that be. A $700,000 home is a major purchase for a Silicon Valley computer engineer who makes at most $200,000 per year.
AD - I dont think you were active on this board then, but we discussed this a few months ago. Arl never had the huge influx of flippers as did the outer areas. Further, the number of junk loans in Arl are about 1/3 what they are in places like PWC. No doubt this is one of the main reasons price declines there are pretty mild.Also, not only are Arl & SF "holding up" (that being a relative term), it appears that most cities with a strong core appear to be doing the same thing:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89803663Underlying research article:http://www2.standardandpoors.com/spf/pdf/index/052708_Housing_bubbles_collapse.pdfYou will note, one of the main things these articles cite is gas prices. I think thats correct, but I personally think they overstate the effect.My own personal feeling is it is a longer term "gentrification" trend we have seen over the last 10 years. Up until 2003, junk loans were not widely available. Yet much of the renewal of these areas started long before that. Thus the bubble bursting will certainly slow that trend, but I doubt it will reverse it. The continuing tight turn times of close in inventory stock seems to bear that out. I guess we shall see.
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