The Economic Impact of Real Estate in Northern Virginia

The Economic Impact of Real Estate in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia's numbers for 2023 are in and the economic impact of real estate across our region continues to land at the top. Counties and Cities included are Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, & Stafford County as well as Alexandria City, Fairfax City, City of Falls Church, and Manassas City.

A breakdown by the numbers:

$38.7b in total local economic activity

 187,000 Jobs supported

 $12.8b in labor income

 $917m in local tax revenue

 $791.5m in state tax revenue

In order of magnitude, the residential real estate industry in Northern Virginia is in the same league as federal contracting and government employment. 

There is a highly diverse number of sectors impacted; including Construction, Finance, Insurance, Transport, Agencies, Real Estate, Retail Trade, and Services. For example: in a recent conversation with a local builder it was estimated that more than 100 people are involved in the process of constructing one new single family home. This includes up to 20 different trade groups, manufacturers, suppliers, and workers. Add in several inspectors along the way as well as decorators, retail furniture sales activity, and landscaping and it's easy to understand the broad reaching impact housing can have between the new and resale markets.

Housing affordability continues to be a hot topic of discussion; and for good reason. A well known quote from Harvard economist Ed Glaeser's admonition about regional housing policy reads: "no homes, no people, no jobs." Northern Virginia communities are making a push to improve the situation. Arlington County and the City of Alexandria recently made adjustments to their zoning laws to replace previous single family only restrictions to now allow for multi-unit building. We are likely to see this trend continue; taking into consideration the size and cost it takes to replace old structures with new. If we can leverage 8,000 sqft of space to house four 2,000 sqft units closer to job and entertainment centers it simply makes sense.

For more information on this topic and other local real estate insight you may contact Michael Gorkowski directly at [email protected] or by phone at 703-298-8490.

Primary source for this post: 

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®, (NVAR) & The Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University

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