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Northern Virginia Property Values Show Second Year Of Growth

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The trend for real estate in Northern Virginia is upward for the second straight year.
Casey Serin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sercasey/248457195/
The trend for real estate in Northern Virginia is upward for the second straight year.

Property assessments in Northern Virginia show that the region appears to have emerged from the recession. Local governments closest to the District are reporting positive growth in that area for the second straight year.

Arlington County is reporting the strongest numbers, especially with commercial properties, which grew 14 percent, the second straight year of double-digit growth in assessments. Arlington budget director Richard Stevenson says the county now has the highest tax base ever.

"Yeah, I think we weathered the overall national recession pretty well," says Stevenson. "Just in the last couple of years we only saw a six and a half percent decline, and that was just in one year. All the other years, we ve had positive growth on the tax base. "

Northern Virginia benefited from having a much smaller number of foreclosures than other jurisdictions, according to John McClain, a senior fellow with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. "Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax are out of the woods. And Loudoun is not yet out of the woods," says McClain. "Spotsylvania and Stafford will be in another two years. They just had a lot more foreclosures out there, and their values continued to decline."

Not as many new homes were built in Arlington and Alexandria, McClain points out. "So you didn't have as many new home sales transactions like you had in Prince William, Loudoun and those other counties further out," he says.

The trend means more money from tax revenues for budgets in the works for fiscal year 2013.

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