Stable Real Estate Market SEPT 2014The word this past month used to describe the real estate market would be stable.

Although we are at an 8 year high in inventory levels, we didn’t see the rapid increase in inventory like we have experienced since May which is a good thing.  One area that we saw an increase in was in distressed property inventory.  Even though nationwide there are fewer foreclosures and short sales, we have more of them on the market here locally.  They are nowhere near previous levels but they are up 22% since the last week of June.  We will continue to monitor this for you and let you know of opportunities that are available.  We also did see a slowdown in sales which we don’t like to experience.  It was the fewest amount of sales for a month since January of this year but their numbers were virtually identical week to week so they were stable.  So, when you have high inventory levels coupled with fewer sales, we have seen more stable prices which is good for buyers.  It helps to keep housing affordability levels high for our buyer clients.  Owners are seeing the need to properly price their houses to make them competitive with the rest of the marketplace.  In addition to these market conditions we saw rates decline which helps keep the market stable as well.  Lastly, one area of surprise we experienced was the past week at our listings.  We saw an uptick in showings and buyer interest in our listings on line and in phone call inquiries.  This is good news as activity leads to sales.

FALL 2014 prognosis SOLID REAL ESTATE MARKETOn another note, we have a group of agents from different companies in our area that meet monthly.  These agents are in the top 5% of agents across the entire country in regards to sales.  We discuss the local market, inventory levels, buyer preferences, seller expectations, listing activity, and many other real estate related topics.   In this Platinum Club group meeting this past month we discussed the fall market and what our expectations were about the upcoming season.  The sentiment is the fall market will be a solid market in regards to sales.  We were all optimistic about what the market is going to bring and seeing activity at our listings pick up this past week may be the start of the momentum our region needs.  We will keep you posted.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or if you know of someone who may need our help.  We are here for you. Feel free to call me directly (703) 652-5777.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

July 2014 REAL ESTATE MARKET is like a carnival rideThe summertime real estate market is a lot like a theme park – ups and downs like a roller coaster with sales, activity and interest rates and a lot of unknowns like a haunted house.

There are a lot of questions around what is happening in the market from sellers and builders we are working with to sell their houses.

It is an interesting dynamic where we have extremely low interest rates – at or near 4% – and a high home affordability index yet sales are not as strong as we expect them to be considering this situation.

July 2014 REAL ESTATE MARKET for sellers is like a haunted house
What are the reasons for this?

One potential reason is price appreciation along with the multiple offers earlier this year. Many potential homebuyers naturally paused to wonder: is it a new bubble? Or can I afford these prices? But price appreciation has greatly moderated as we have seen inventory rise dramatically since the beginning of the year.

Therefore, potential homebuyers will no longer face the sticker shock and can now make rational decisions about whether or not it makes sense to buy a home.

Along with the increase in houses on the market, we will be creating new buyers as these homes sell. So demand will increase as more sales happen in many instances.

Another reason is the economy isn’t growing as quickly as was expected and consumer confidence is not extremely strong. Once buyers gain confidence in the economy, housing will follow suit and grow with the economy. Until then, we will see moderate house sales as well as price appreciation.

We also are still experiencing tight lending guidelines and underwriting policies on mortgages. It is still hard for many potential buyers to obtain loans. The “qualification pendulum” is still too far to one side and needs to be moderated to allow more buyers into the marketplace with sound lending practices.

So, in order to be a seller in today’s market, you need to be patient. Good houses, properly priced, in the right condition will sell. It will just take a little longer.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call me (703) 652-5777 so we can discuss your personal situation in more detail. We are here to help.
Happy 4th of July!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Housing Inventory Increase

Wow, it is hard to believe that we are almost half way through 2014 and summer is just about to get into full swing.  It is going to be interesting to see how we get through the real estate market this summer as we had no true spring selling season.  At our June Quarterly Meeting, I announced our numbers were up so far this year but we were expecting to have helped more families buy and sell homes up to this point.  Of course the weather got in the way early on and now that school is about to get out, people will be taking their vacations.  So it is important for sellers to be prepared for the upcoming situation.

Our inventory levels have continued to escalate since the warm weather broke in May.  It has resulted in us having more homes for sale than any time since October on 2011.  As we enter the summertime, the season generally slows down which will increase inventory as well, so sellers need to do all they can to attract the buyers that are out looking for a new home.  Sellers need to position their properties accordingly, as there is currently a 2 month supply of houses on the market.  The inside and the outside of the house needs to shine and show like a model home, as well as be priced to sell!  We are not able to “push” prices like we did earlier this year. What it takes to sell your house in 2014The sellers who overprice their properties, even just above what we recommend, sit on the market.  Additionally, we are having appraisal issues with properties in areas where there are no sales to support the higher values – even in multiple contract situations in arm’s length transactions.  The underwriting guidelines have made it tougher to get above market values approved, so please price your house accordingly.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to discuss your specific situation or the market, feel free to call me today (703) 652-5777.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Watch Scott’s Market Minute on YouTube:   Hyper-local Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Has Sellers and Realtors Nervous

 

Inventory of houses for sale in Northern Virginia increased again this week.  A hyper-local real estate market can be a challenge for buyers, sellers, and their REALTOR.

Watch and listen as Scott MacDonald of RE/MAX Gateway offers the insight and explains strategies necessary for success in the Northern Virginia real estate market.

If you would like to discuss your specific real estate market, options or challenges, give Scott MacDonald of RE/MAX Gateway a call (703) 652-5777

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

The early Spring 2014 Real Estate Market has had many challenges: snow, rain, and low inventory… now the tides have turned. Listen as Scott MacDonald explains and offers the insight and strategies needed to buy or sell a house in Northern Virginia. If you would like to discuss your personal real estate market options or challenges, give Scott MacDonald of RE/MAX Gateway a call (703) 652-5777

Now that the spring market has sprung – inventory levels too have sprung into full bloom.

Our inventory levels are at three year highs with over 6,100 homes for sale in Northern Virginia. We have not had this many homes for sale since November of 2011 – nearly 3.5 years ago.  This is good for buyers who are searching for homes but sellers need to be cognizant of what this means to them.Image

Inventory levels are up 36% over this same time last year so sellers need to be competitive when they put their properties up for sale. What we have been seeing in the market is buyers are very discriminating now when it comes to their home selection. Properties need to be in model home condition, have great curb appeal and need to be priced right in order to get offers. When homes meet these criteria, they often times are receiving multiple offers while their neighbors who haven’t staged their homes, haven’t gotten them into model home condition or haven’t priced them properly sit on the market. We see sellers push values and stay for sale for extended periods of time. We see other sellers who don’t declutter or continue to “live” in their homes versus stage their homes properly and they sit on the market. Lastly, we see sellers not make the appropriate upgrades like painting, carpet replacement, adding granite, etc. and their homes continue to stay up for sale while others sell. Many of today’s buyers don’t want to make the upgrades, don’t have the vision to get homes into the right condition or don’t have the funds to make the improvements but qualify to buy the homes that have been put into the proper selling condition. As inventory levels rise, it is extremely important to make your house as competitive as possible to get it sold because there are buyers out there.

On another note, interest rates remain low which is helping purchasers become home owners both as first time buyers and as move up buyers which is good for our market. As rates increase, we will see people embrace adjustable rate mortgages as an option – especially first time buyers as their objectives are to only stay in the property for a short period of time. If you are considering a purchase, please ask about ARM’s and if they are a viable option for you.

Let’s hope the weather heats up and helps fuel the real estate market. The winter was brutal and the comment was made, if you can’t get out and buy milk and bread, you can’t get out and buy a house. Come on warmer temperatures – we need ya!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

 

House inventory has dramatically increased in Northern Virginia. Buyers have more options. Real Estate Agents & Sellers alike… You need to watch this video blog for tips and tricks to help sell the home. Want to talk about your property in specific? Call Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 or email scottmacdonald@remax.net read more… http://scottymacsblog.com/

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Residential inventory of houses for sale in Northern Virginia is beginning to pick up and the Washington Wizards kicked off the playoffs with their first win! Get all the stats here and everything you need to know to set yourself up for success! Are you buying or selling? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 scottmacdonald@remax.net to find out the best strategies to put yourself ahead in this housing market.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

The inventory of homes for sale in Northern Virginia is growing quickly. You need to know how to set yourself up for success in this Spring real estate market! Are you buying or selling? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 or email scottmacdonald@remax.net for information and strategies to put yourself ahead in this housing market.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Northern Virginia? Scott MacDonald of RE/MAX Gateway offers valuable information to home sellers, buyers, and REALTORS and what is driving the real estate housing market in his video blog Scott’s Market Minute.

If you are thinking of selling in 2014, now is the time to get the answers to your questions. Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777  There’s still time to get your home listed for sale in this early Spring market!

Buyers, the resale home inventory is very low and rates are beginning to climb, now is the time to buy a home! Email Scott for a free optimized homes for sale search engine or list. ScottMacDonald@remax.net or read more… http://scottymacsblog.com/

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

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