Like most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, the 2021 assessments were mixed with housing experiencing strong demand after a brief lull attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Year-over-year, average residential values increased 6.02%, while commercial assessments decreased 1.96%. Overall, locally assessed taxable real property increased 2.70%. This marks the eleventh consecutive year that the City’s overall assessed value has increased.
The Residential Market
Residential market conditions are strong with demand far exceeding the available supply due to low unemployment and low interest rates. Market support is provided by a significant number of high paying jobs and the prime location inside the Capital Beltway with four Metro stations and a fifth at National Landing planned to be operational in 2022. Simply stated, the City of Alexandria is considered a desirable place to live and work.
- As of January 1, 2021, the average equalized value of existing residential property, including single-family and condominium was $615,858, an increase of 4.38% from the average equalized value of $582,636 in 2020.
- The average single-family house for 2021 is assessed at $839,961, an increase of 4.54% from the average equalized single-family value of $800,025 in 2020.
- The average 2021 residential condominium is assessed at $375,070, an increase of 3.98% from the average equalized condominium value of $348,234 in 2020.
- For 2021, 94% of residential properties increased, 5% decreased, and 1% were unchanged.
The Commercial Market
On a year-over-year basis, the commercial property tax base decreased by 1.96%. However, much of the decline was offset by an increase of 3.53% in the multi-family rental sector which included $110.1 million dollars in new growth. Class A projects were stable with moderating rental rates and vacancy issues. Concessions remain in place and provide an incentive to potential tenants. The industrial tax base also increased in 2021 supported by continued demand by owner-occupants, smaller e-commerce operations, and endpoint distribution facilities. Pandemic conditions resulted in substantial decreases in the hospitality and retail market sectors with declines of 29.64% and 10.72%, respectively.
The pandemic has also exacerbated the malaise within the office market with teleworking which negatively impact demand, increased vacancy and tenant concessions resulting in lower effective rents. Overall, office assessments decreased 6.52% from the previous year.
With few exceptions, the analogy that the market has been placed on pause during the pandemic is supported by the continuing gap between bid and asking prices for income producing assets that have the ability to perform under normal conditions.
The Office of Real Estate Assessments (OREA) encourages commercial property owners to file an annual Income and Expense Survey. These can be filed in writing or electronically. Instructions for completing the survey are available on the Office’s website at alexandriava.gov/realestate. The surveys will be mailed in early March and have a filing deadline of May 1. Continuing in 2021, the OREA has streamlined the billing process for properties comprised of multiple parcels but functioning as one economic unit. Here, the parent parcel reflects the total property value (including ancillary parcels). This eliminates multiple bills and reduces the cost of postage. Previously existing accounts are maintained in the system, but have no value associated with them. No property rights are lost by the owner. Property owners will be notified by the Office of Real Estate Assessments as new group accounts are created.