I was just looking at some comparable sales for areas within the Greater Boston area that are popular with first-time buyers looking for a starter home (under $500K).
Arlington has been an attractive town for starter homes because of the proximity to Boston, transportation links, strong school system and 'neighborhood feel'.
Looking back to the February 1, 2007 - March 28, 2007 (I always like to look back 6 years since most home owners are in a home for 5-7 years) in the MLSPIN, 16 single-homes sold with an average selling price of $396K.
In the same period in 2013, only 2 homes closed with an average sale price of $405K.
The lack of supply for sale is also seen in the condo market (under $400K) with 9 condos sold in the period in 2007 for an average price of $297K and only 6 sold in the period in 2013 with an average price of $273K.
Looking forward to the next few months, I envision that once a condo or single-family hit the market, there is going to be a lot of interest - make sure you are ready and have your buyer agent on-deck to help you get the home you want.