The View from South of the Potomac River: The Shirlington Report ~ April 2012

The Shirlington Report ~ April 2012

~ The Shirlington Report ~

The Shirlington real estate report for April shows the impact of an increase in quality listings throughout the Spring, increased units under contract and sold. There were 28 units that reached the settlement table, the same as in March, which shows that if a move-in ready unit comes on the market it is quickly snapped up by the large pool of buyers circling the area.  To put the activity in the Shirlington real estate market into context, a total of 37 new listings were added in April while 36 units are currently under contract… so for the first time this year new listings exceed new contracts, albeit by just 1 listing!

I hate to keep singing the same refrain (4 months running!), but here it is;  Inventory… or more correctly the lack of inventory is an issue  within the Shirlington real estate market, with less than 2 months of inventory at the current sales pace.  To say that Open house activity remains robust would be an extreme understatement, even for my Saturday Open House on National Open House Weekend.  The unit went under contract early Saturday morning before the open house, so that the buyers could avoid the competition of another offer off of the open.  To give you a mental image of how buyers are flocking to any opportunity to view a quality listing… think of a shark & blood in the water.  Rates moved back down a bit, roughly .25% so that conforming conventional & FHA interest rates are below 4% again.

                          shirlington report within the arlington real estate market       

The Shirlington area is surrounded mainly by condominium developments, (such as all the Fairlington associations, Heatherlea, Windgates, Courtbridge, The Arlington, and Parkfairfax) with some fee simple town home/row homes & apartment buildings.  The main street section has restaurants, a movie theatre, an award winning live theatre at the Signature Theatre, new County library, and boutiques. The downtown section of Shirlington also hosts community activities from the Christmas Tree lighting to Octoberfest to a pet adoption festival, so that on any given weekend the streets and outdoor restaurant seating in filled with local residents. Since it is not on a Metrorail line (but next to I-395 to get to the Pentagon, Pentagon Metro station, & Washington DC), housing prices are lower per square foot than condos near the Orange line in North Arlington or the Yellow/Blue line to the East in Alexandria City. For all these reasons, it is a preferred destination and location within the Arlington real estate market to buy a condo by first time home buyers, military/relocation, and empty nesters looking to downsize into a vibrant area.

                       Shirlington solds within the Arlington real estate market                   

The price distribution of sold units in April is skewed a bit towards the higher price points, versus the normal bell curve in March.  This appears to be due to quite a few of the 2 & 3 story units in the Fairlington associations, which run in the higher price points.  

                       Rolling 6 month solds within the arlington real estate market                     


The Spring market has been unusually strong and it appears that it will continue for the next 4-6 weeks.  If you are considering selling, time is of the essence and you need to act quickly before the majority of buyers become distracted with all the summer activities that are available.  Also, you have to be properly priced for condition in today’s market and avoid “testing” the market for a higher price.  As an analogy, think back to dating… whether it 20 years ago or last week!  You only get one shot at a first impression and don’t break out the flip flops & shorts until the relationship is established.  In today’s market, the buyer has very little sympathy for units that aren't move-in ready or priced according, so you need an agent that has proven experience in Shirlington and can help you interpret the market.

Please contact me today so that we can start the process of getting you to SOLD!



AJ Heidmann ~ CRS,  ABR

Cell 703-474-1260 ~ Office 703-717-6324 ~ Fax 703-839-8283

McEnearney Associates, Inc.

4720 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA  22207

Licensed in Virginia

Comment balloon 5 commentsAJ Heidmann ~ CRS • May 03 2012 11:53AM


Hi AJ -

Great job on reporting the status of the Shirlington real estate market.  Low inventory means happy home sellers!  I wish our MLS provided charts and graphs but they offer the numbers and that's it. 

I've been wondering where you had gotten off to and had full intentions of shooting you an email.  Glad to see you have surfaced in the Rain.  Don't be a stranger my man!


Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) about 8 years ago

Sounds like Shirlington is a LOT like Las Vegas with the lack of inventory!  Bet you all are drowning in buyer education right now!  Here is my saying "it's all fun and games until you lose the home of your dreams!"

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) about 8 years ago

John - Shirlington is hopping, just like the rest of Arlington & Alexandria City.  I wish our MLS gave away charts/graphs too, but since they charge for the info I make my own, though I need to learn a more sophisticated program to keep up with the Jones' here on ActiveRain... and happy Cinco de Mayo!

Renee - Your saying is very true... a lot of buyers would like to become owners, but really don't know the rules to the local game.  Have a great week!

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Thanks AJ!

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) about 8 years ago

Your update and repeat message about the local market in Shirington shows demand is not the issue, but supply certainly is one. The way you combine your stats with background on the community is a plus. Hopefully, more sellers will get the message!

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (eXp Realty LLC) about 8 years ago