The Arlington Real Estate Market seems to be insuppressible. In the neighborhoods surrounding Tuckahoe and beyond, the rapid pace at which properties are being built, bought, and sold continues, seemingly unrestrained by recent interest rate increases and economic uncertainty. The Tuckahoe Home & Garden Tour Team (THGT) spoke with David Howell of McEnearney Associates, Inc. to discuss the state of Arlington’s real estate market. A recognized real estate industry leader, David is the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at McEnearney Associates, Inc.
THGT: What is the most important factor in the market today?
DH: The lack of inventory of available homes. As we head into the spring, there is only about a two-month supply of homes on the market. And that shortage is even more acute for detached and attached homes priced under $1,000,000, where there is less than a one-month supply.
THGT: After a prolonged period with mortgage interest rates under 4%, rates have headed up. Will that hurt the market?
DH: It may sound surprising, but in the short term, rising rates actually energize the market. Buyers who may have been sitting on the fence are motivated to act before rates climb too high. And there is a fundamental reason that rates are climbing: the national economy is improving. That brings growth in household income, to a large extent offsetting the higher mortgage costs. In the longer run, rising rates will make homes less affordable, and that will ease the significant upward pressure we have seen over the last three years.
THGT: How does Arlington compare to the rest of the DC metro area?
DH: Really well. While Washington, DC itself continues to have the stronger market in the region, Arlington is a pretty close second. Today’s buyers are looking for livable, walkable communities with lots of amenities. Arlington offers those in abundance, and there is easy access to Metro and major transportation corridors as well. All of those factors contribute to making this such an exceptional place to live!
THGT: What’s ahead for the rest of 2018?
DH: More of the same. We expect 2018 to look a lot like 2017, with continued strong demand for housing in the face of limited inventory. We don’t see anything on the horizon that is likely to change that equation in any significant way this year. We don’t yet know the full effect of the recent tax reform legislation, but we expect that it will have an overall positive impact. However, homes priced over $1,000,000 might be somewhat adversely impacted because of the $10,000 cap on deductibility of property and state taxes. Overall, we expect home prices to continue to rise, but at a more moderate pace.
“Clients First” is the simple motto put forth by Founder John McEnearney in 1980; and that legacy lives on today at McEnearney Associates, Inc. As a consistent Platinum sponsor of the Tuckahoe Home and Garden Tour, we want to offer our deepest thanks for their continued support. For more information, and to read David Howell’s MarketWatch newsletter, visit www.mcenearney.com.