News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Say Goodbye to the White Picket Fence: Another Look at Our Hellish Future of Upscale Apartments

2_RestonStation Retail.jpegPiling on to earlier forecasts about the region's transition to more dense, urban housing stock comes this fancy "news-paper" article in which Reston's soon-to-arrive bollardy goodness is looked to as a model:

"The quarter acre lot and the white picket fence? Those days are over. Generation Y is willing to live in a far less pretentious situation than their parents did. They aren't going to be soccer moms," said [local real estate developer Bob] Buchanan.

The developer said he has been particularly impressed with the transit-friendly development planned for the new Metro stations in Reston, which he referred to as being "high quality" and "remarkable."
The good news for us with equity mortgages is that the DC region remains the only major metropolitan area in the country where average home prices increased in the past year, and prices have been climbing since mid-2009. The problem is that our fancy stucco manses with yards may not be what future buyers want, according to GMU economist Stephen Fuller.
"There really is enough big housing. What we need is more small housing. … We need different housing," said Stephen Fuller, an economist with the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. He spoke to members of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors about the state of the local economy and housing market this month.

BUT FULLER STRESSED that Fairfax County does not necessarily have a lot of housing that has become attractive to younger professionals and retiring baby boomers looking to purchase a home.

"Younger workers may not be as willing to spend as much of their income on purchasing a house," said Fuller, who said a real need exists for high-end apartment buildings and condominiums.
It should be pointed out that Fuller's shop is responsible for the baseline assumptions driving many of the estimates showing massive growth in Reston in the coming decades, including the ones driving assumptions made by the Reston Master Plan Task Force With the Unpronounceable Acronym (§). The challenge will be weaving that density into Reston's existing framework of housing and infrastructure without ruining things for the folks who still want, if not the white picket fence, the appropriately earth-toned enclosure for a yard free of red mulch and white stone, the end.


  1. But you know what? Those "younger workers" grow up. They'll want the quarter acre and the picket fence. There will be soccer moms. There is so much make-believe going on between the developers and the county government. They seem to have developed brain rot brought on by untrammeled greed.

  2. This made me laugh, 'The problem is that our fancy stucco manses with yards may not be what future buyers want, according to GMU economist Stephen Fuller.' There's no place to add any more of those to Reston anyway ... but have you been out to the Hunting Crest development off Hunter Mill? It backs up to Lake Fairfax. Tonight the sports lights above the trees lit up the backyards of the manses there. It's probably just a matter of time before those people are putting pressure on FC Parks & Rec to turn the lights down or off earlier. Kind of like people who move out to the cheap housing near the proposed International Airport and then complain about jet noise...

  3. Buchanan is such a hypocrite.

    He's building single family detached housing along Route 50 in southern Loudoun.

    9:43 is absolutely right. As soon as baby arrives Momma wants a backyard not a balcony on the 20th floor of a concrete tenement for little susie for fall off of.

    Will 20% of units be multi-family? sure

    Will there be a demand for 2,500 sq, ft. on half acre lots? sure

    there just isn't anywhere in ffx or Loudoudn to build any of them.

  4. Hey, we're allowed to put in white picket fences? Expected them to have to be Oxford Brown. Little does this developer know the area.


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