Arlington Property Values Grow 5.8%

Updated, 01-22-2014, 12:30pm, to correct a typo in a subhead. The commercial tax base grew by 5.4%.

  • Average residential property value up 5.3%, to $552,700
  • New construction contributes to commercial property value growth
  • Budget gap narrowed
  • Assessments online 11 p.m. today

ARLINGTON, VA — Arlington's 2014 real estate assessments showed solid growth of 5.8 percent overall, fueled primarily by strength in the residential market, as well as new construction of commercial properties.

The residential sector had a strong 2013; the value of the average Arlington residence (existing single-family properties, including condominiums, townhouses and detached homes), increased 5.3% from $524,700 in Calendar Year (CY) 2013 to $552,700 in CY 2014.

Real estate assessments will be mailed today to all Arlington property owners. Calendar Year (CY) 2014 assessment information also will be available online at 11 p.m. today. Look up your property assessment.

“We are grateful that Arlington continues to show resilience and stability, despite ongoing tensions in the larger economy,” said Barbara Donnellan, Arlington County Manager. “I am pleased the budget gap is narrowed, but we still face expenditure pressures for both County and Schools.”

In November, 2013, the County projected an FY 2015 budget gap of $20-$25 million for County and Schools. that projection was based on a projected rise in the overall real estate tax base of 2.6%, with residential real estate assessments rising, on average, 5.5% and commercial assessments staying flat or declining slightly.

Commercial tax base grew 5.4%

The commercial tax base, which includes office buildings, apartments, hotels, and retail, grew 5.4% over CY 2013, primarily fueled by new construction and strength in apartment properties. Existing apartment properties increased 4.8%; this is the largest property type in the commercial sector and represents almost 40% of the commercial tax base. The rest of the commercial sector also experienced growth. General commercial properties (primarily various types of retail) increased more than 10%, while existing office property values rose slightly, supported by slightly higher rents but offset by increased vacancy rates.

Budget outlook

Arlington also faces a number of expenditure pressures, especially to support aging County infrastructure and Arlington's population growth. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the pressures include health care, retirement costs, new facilities and contractual cost increases, including Metro. Meanwhile, the County continues to invest in current and new infrastructure to maintain the high quality of services that are important to the long-term sustainability of the County.

Arlington's largest expense is Arlington Public Schools, which represents approximately 45.6% of local tax revenue, and an investment of more than $18,000 per student. Continued year-over-year growth in school enrollment has put pressure on School facilities and educational costs.

As revenue is again expected to be less than projected expenditures, both the County and Schools will need to determine their priorities within these fiscal constraints. The County Manager and School Superintendent will present their proposed budgets to the County Board and School Board in late February. The County Board will set the real estate tax rate in April.

For more information on the budget process, visit the County's Budget web page.

About real estate assessments

Real estate assessments are appraisals — the County's opinions of value for each parcel of real property in Arlington. Assessments are made according to accepted methods, techniques, and standards of the real estate appraisal and assessment profession. The 2014 assessment is an estimate of the fair market value as of January 1, 2014.

Residential assessments were based primarily on neighborhood sales occurring July 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013. The real estate tax rate determines the amount of tax that is levied on the property. A uniform tax rate for all real property is set by the Arlington County Board; state code requires the County Board to use a uniform tax rate. In addition, Arlington levies additional taxes on commercial and industrial properties dedicated to transportation investments, as well as taxes for business improvement and sanitary sewer needs.

For more information, visit the County website and search “real estate assessment.”

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.