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Townhouse Price Trends for Clarendon, Rosslyn, Courthouse -- Highgate, Clarendon Park and BromptonsPosted by Jay Seville on Friday, January 18th, 2008 at 7:54am.
With the bombardment of the negative real estate news by the media it is hard for consumers to have perspective on the housing market in any area including the Arlington markets in Clarendon, Rosslyn & Courthouse. Whether it be houses for sale, condos or townhouses it's difficult to have perspective. It's harder still to not be freaked out as a buyer.
Interestingly enough from looking at median sold prices for detached homes the past 4 months in Arlington (Fall 2007) they tend to be about 10% higher each month than back in 2006--not too shabby. However each type of home--detached, condominium and townhouse--have to be analyzed separately and even narrowed down to the zip codes. That's how hyperlocal real estate is in Arlington Virginia or anywhere else. Prices in 22202 (pentagon city) are down in general but prices in 22205 or 22207 are up, etc. For what it's worth 22202 really took the big hit in Arlington in 2007. The rest of Arlington county did well as far as single family homes are concerned. So let's look at the luxury townhouses on the orange line for Rosslyn and Clarendon. Also keep in mind that some of the gains in 2007 may have merely been recovery of market values from decreases the year before.
I originally wrote about some of the townhouse real estate trends for Clarendon & Rosslyn about 6 months ago.
Clarendon Park ( Clarendon Center) & Courthouse Hill Townhouse Price Trends
All of the luxury townhouse communities on the orange line in Arlington did undergo some correcting the past 2 years. Some were hit harder than others. And some only just recently showed any sign of coming down in their market values. And that may be recovered in the Spring of 2008. Let's examine a few communities in depth...photos and all.
Courthouse Hill Real Estate Prices for 2007
The stately Courthouse Hill townhouses 2 blocks to the metro peaked in February 2006 at $940,000. Since they have undergone a gradual correction of 7% which is where they strong in 2007 with at least 3 closings right at $870,000ish. The end units carry a bit more value--no surprise there. In fact why did I just write such a stupid remark#!#!@@@!#!! For a cheesy video from the outside into one of the end units with plenty of commentary check out this one on a Courthouse Hill unit that sold in 2007:
What will happen to their values in 2008? I'm no prophet, but I'm feeling they'll sit pretty around $850,000 or so.
Clarendon Park (Clarendon Center) Real Estate and Prices
I should enter a disclaimer here after selling 2 of these last year it is my favorite townhouse community in Arlington. I know it inside and out including the names of the models, square footages, etc. Of course having a Starbucks a block away is convenient.
These have followed a different timeline than other luxury townhouses in the area. Most communities started their declines earlier whereas one of the Fullerton models--the most common model in Clarendon Park with just under 2000 sq. ft. of living area--closed for $985,000 in 2007. That was the highest price for a Fullerton model--higher than the $970,000 peak of April 2006. So the community's values held strong for the past 2 years. And upper end model--the Windsor model with 2400 sq. ft. actually appreciated. A sale for $1,295,000 occurred and then another for $1,335,000 a few months later.
But the latest and greatest on these Fullerton models is that several did not sell in the summer and Fall of 2007 that were listed at $999,000 and then dropped their prices to $970,000. My instincts tell me they have come down to $950,000ish. I stated as much 6 months ago. However if I was listing one for sale in the Spring, it would be worth being aggressive as you never know, there could be a recovery of value as often occurs in the Spring market. Perhaps $989,000 would be good to test the market at....
And of course if you're interested in selling your townhouse, please read my post Truth Versus Bullcrap About Selling Your Home! before you waste your money out of a lack of understanding about how real estate really works. Read the whole article with its conclusions and your eyes will be opened. And for the "listing agents" out there, sorry to offend you but the truth hurts, eh?
Bromptons at Clarendon and Courthouse and Rosslyn
Bromptons at Clarendon TownhouseThese started out in 2007 at $965,000 but finished with market values of $935,000 by the end of the year--perhaps slightly less for those on Washington Blvd. So their drop was several percent. Not too bad considering all the negative news lately. And their larger end units are still selling for $1,150,000-1,200,000 as April 2007. Their architecture is very modern and works for some people but not others. Their typical model is larger than the Clarendon Park units but still sell for a bit less due to their location. The units on Kirkwood seemed to have taken the big hit with a sale of $1,150,000 in 2006 down to $990,000 in April 2007.
They figure to stay slightly less in value for their most common size model than the Fullerton models at Clarendon Park. The challenge many buyers have with them is noise or traffic on Washington Blvd. Also there is a garage across the street from some of the homes on Johnson Street.
Bromptons at Courthouse
These townhouses took a bigger hit in 2007. They closed at a net of $960,000 in January 2007 and by the end of the summer were closing around $915,000. That's a 5% correction. They had peaked at $1,000,000 in January 2006.
So from several of the most upscale townhouse communities we see a 3-5% in 2007--considering most of the owners made $100,000s off of their homes a slight dip in values isn't the end of the world unless they took out $$$$ against their home's earlier value at the peak.
Bromptons at Rosslyn
The standard unit at Bromptons of Rosslyn is 2400-2600 sq. ft. in the tax records and now sell for $950,000. The larger units can still sell for over $1,000,000, but there was a 5% drop in value approx. since peaking in the summer of 2006. There have been many withdrawn listings in this community in the last 2 years from owners trying to get $1,100,000+ for their homes. If you don't have the square footage around 3000 you're not going to get your price so get a clue Sellers and quit wasting my time##!!#@!!!
Highgate & Palisades Park Real Estate and Price Trends
The Highgate townhouse community in Rosslyn is much trickier to cover as their are many different models there with a wide price range. I sold 2 there in 2007 and the Sellers were frustrated at our lack of respect to their perceived home values versus what we assessed to be the market values. One lady--"bird woman"--met us head on upon arrival and proceeded to grab us by entering our personal space and essentially saying you will follow me around my house while I show it to you...or else! Total control is what she wanted and we gave it to her as it was quite awkward and intimidating. You see she had a huge bird on her shoulder and we couldn't help but think that if we didn't consent asap the bird was going to fly off her shoulder and come peck us to death. It gets better....
So we enter the home as she controls every wtep we take while her wild bird eyed us suspiciously in case we didn't follow in step. On each floor we would find another LARGE birdcage--such as 5 feet wide and 7 feet tall--filled with her troops who kept their eyes on us. By the time we left the very overpriced home we headed into my van to breath a huge sigh of relief. I think it was one of the most uncomfortable situations all of us had ever been in.
Back to the Highgate Townhouse Market #s
The townhouses with 2700 sq. ft. not including the extra living area on the lower level were selling at the peak for $1,200,000 in the summer of 2006. The most recent closing in Sept 2007 sold for $1,025,000. However another is currently under contract listed at 1,099,000 in excellent condition with its renovations. So if it shows well this size no doubt still sells for at least $1,050,000.
The smaller homes with 2300-2500 sq .ft. Many of these are the Hayes model and they peaked for $1,080,000 back in March 2006. The most recent netted just under $950,000. And another Addison model (1 car garage instead of 2) netted just under $935,000. However this is currently a Hayes model under contract with a list price of $995,000 so it looks like their market value is holding strong in the upper $900,000 depending on its renovations and the negotiating. I must brag that my buyer got the Hayes model for less than the $950....
These brick townhouses with their signature sunken living rooms and palladian windows with tons of light have several sizes. Those units found on 22nd Ct have some nice views on their backside which makes for somewhat of an oasis in their urban village.
One of the most common are those with 2 car garages---mostly found on 22nd St N. These prices have held strong. Back in 2006 in August one closed for $1,017,000. The 2 most recent closing in October and Sept 2007 closed for $1,150,000. I cannot say it enough. Real estate is a case by case scenario. One can't make blanket generalizations about Northern Virginia or even Arlington itself. Don't get sucked up into the bullcrap out there. Instead find the home you want and get it for the right price taking into account trends and data. If you're not comfortable with the transaction don't ratify the contract...Perhaps it would be best to rent another year. You need to decide what is best for you after weighing all the information.
The homes on 21st Ct and Pierce have been selling for $860,000 as of late. They offer 1700-1900 sq. ft. not including the lower level and 2 car garages as well.
I'll come back with a "hot search" for these luxury townhouses in Rosslyn, Clarendon, etc. You'll just click a link and you'll have the listings right there to scroll or view in detail.Hopefully this give you some perspective on what's been going on in the market. If you want any advice more specific call me at this number and I'll answer some questions or send you some email or show up with the keys to show you some homes....
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