We had another great real estate exchange yesterday at Clyde’s in Ashburn sponsored by Jane Clawson at Ekko Title and Josh Burruss at Potomac Mortgage Group. We discussed the Loudoun housing market as well as the Northern Virginia housing market and how inventory is up due to the time of year but distressed property inventory is down. This trend has been occurring for the last few weeks throughout the region.
New home sales are more and more prevalent as the houses that are for sale are not priced right or are not in the right condition and if they are, they are receiving multiple offers with escalation clauses. In addition to lack of acceptable housing in the resale market, builders are now priced right and are offering a viable option.
A few agents are experience appraisal issues and as prices escalate, we anticipate seeing even more as underwriters are not in sync with the market and appraisers want to be conservative and not be too far ahead of the curve in pricing like we saw from 2004-2006 – stay tuned!
Josh mentioned that rates remain great – 4.75% with no points on conforming/FHA products and just 5% on conforming jumbo products. One reason we continue to see great rates is that inflation is came in lower than expected on Friday despite the fact that gas prices and food prices are on the rise. On Monday, Standard and Poor’s downgraded the US debt which resulted in a slight uptick in rates. It is the first time since 1995-1996 that they have downgraded the debt, if this trend continues, we will see rates rise and rise quickly – keep an eye out for further announcements. Loan applications continue to roll in for purchases – 86% of applications were purchase apps and 75% of those were for new homes. Again, new homes are having an impact in the Northern Virginia housing market.
Jane discussed the importance of utilizing reputable partners when buying or selling houses. They have seen recent trends when researching titles that there are rampant defects in title. This is because previous title companies have not gone back 40 years when looking at the title history, they just went back an owner or two. Jane and her team will go back and contact the banks to get liens released or indemnify the parties so they can move forward with the transaction, receive their title insurance and move forward. Lately, they are seeing unreleased liens, mistakes made with the wrong substitute trustee selling the properties, issues with previous second trusts and more. Be sure you work with a reputable team to handle these issues and protect your clients. Also, remember that you cannot put “owner of record” as seller on your contracts. Call Ekko and they can do a quick title bring down and let you know who is the owner of the property – you need to know who has the authority to sell the house. It’s good to know and to work with people in the know.
Next, we discussed our listings and reviewed buyer needs. Activity on listings is up which means buyers are out in the marketplace – get your house in the right condition and price it right to get a sale! Investors are still hungry for properties in the lower price points as the rental market remains strong and rents are brining great returns.
It is imperative to stay on top of the market, review trends, and network with other professionals to inform your clients of what to do when buying or selling real estate. Get it? Got it? Good!
Now, go sell something!