The good thing about the weekends recently is that we don’t get emails from the real estate news services in which we subscribe. It seems all the news we read about are comments on the real estate market that are negative, speculative and do nothing but contribute to the decline in consumer confidence in the housing market. The sweeping generalizations about the National market do absolutely nothing to reflect the news about our local market in Northern Virginia. As we all know, you can make the numbers say what you want – the national home pricing index set by Clear Capital dropped 5.9% in the last two months as reported by DSNews.com but it means absolutely nothing to the Northern Virginia market except uncertainty and continued fence sitting by both buyers and sellers. Let’s look at the reality of our market over this same timeframe. Over the last two months as the majority of the country has seen a decrease in equity we have seen our average sales prices over the same period of time increase from $333,502 to $334,274 as reported by MRIS through RBIntel.com. The question is, why isn’t this being reported about Northern Virginia?
Granted, our market isn’t like it was in the period from 2004 – 2007, and it never will be like it again. We are in a “new normal” market. Inventory levels are stable, prices are stable, mortgage interest rates are at historic lows and people are still buying and selling houses. Do we have pockets that are exceeding expectations? Yes. Do we have areas that are underperforming? Yes. Do we have foreclosures in our market? Yes. Are they having a significant impact? For the most part, no as they only represent less than 6% of houses for sale today. Do we have short sales? Yes. Do they have a significant impact on the market? It depends. Some areas have more than others, Arlington County has a very low percentage versus Prince William County that has a higher percentage of distressed properties for sale. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult with a Realtor that knows the trends and knows the market – I challenge you to become that Realtor. There are opportunities in every market, especially this one. In 5 years and beyond people will say, “Do you remember when rates were at 4%? I should have taken advantage of it when I could”. Do whatever it takes to not be that person or have clients that are that person. Get it? Got it? Good!
Now, go sell something!