I am beginning to feel like a broken record but the statement continues to ring true – now is the time to buy a home in Northern Virginia. The reasons are crystal clear – interest rates are low, prices are stable to increasing, new home sales are rebounding locally, rental rates are increasing and we have the jobs. Let’s review, shall we?
- Although interest rates nudged below 4% for a 30 year fixed mortgage for a day or two and they have creeped up to a whopping 4.75% – you still can’t get a better deal on a mortgage today from a historical perspective.
- Prices continue to stabilize throughout most of our region and are beginning to rise in the lower price points which will have a ripple effect on prices in higher price points as buyers “move up”.
- Inventory levels are at their lowest level since this time last year – less supply + more demand = higher prices – Econ 101.
- New home sales in our area are strong compared with the rest of the country. Stanley Martin set a record for sales in 2010 – Toll Brother’s numbers are strongest in this region relative to other areas where they build and NVR said sales were strong the first 9 months of 2010. With this momentum – prices will have to increase.
- Rental rates are increasing as well making owning a more viable option which in turn will also impact prices.
- People continue to move to our region because we have the jobs. Our unemployment is the lowest in the area and the Washington Metro area boasts the lowest unemployment rate out of the Top 15 Metropolitan Markets. Houses are where the jobs go at night so prices will have to increase.
So how does this impact you as a buyer? Jump on the train now because it is about to leave the station! Interest rates in all likelihood are going to increase to around 5.25-5.5% this year. Prices will be pushed up due to pent up demand and an influx of buyers into our market place. You don’t want to be one of the people left on the sidelines saying, “I should have bought early in 2011”. Get it? Got it? Good!
Now, go buy something!