It is definitely an interesting time in real estate in Northern Virginia. We have extremely low inventory levels that remain below normal for this time of year. As an example in January of 2008, we averaged 15,500 active listings, in 2009 it was 10,200, in the year of Snowmagedon in 2010 it was 4,800 because people took their houses off the market and agents couldn’t get out and about to list them, in 2011 it was 5,800 and now we are at 4,700. What is interesting to note is the month’s supply of houses in the same time frame – 2008 it was 10.8, 2009 4.0 and since then it has been 2.3 in 2010, 2.8 in 2011 and this year 2.2. What this clearly indicates is there are buyers out in the marketplace looking for homes in the winter months – not just the spring months now. Interest rates remain very low – below 4% for 30 year fixed rates – jobs are being created here so people are moving into the area and rental rates are rising throughout Northern Virginia.
If your family circumstances, job status, or you just have the desire to sell your house and move up to a bigger home, now is a great time to do so. Houses that are priced right, in the right condition and staged properly are attracting offers. One of the biggest parts of this equation is the price – price sells today. Sellers cannot price a little high for negotiations as we have seen that they languish on the market in this situation. Price it competitively and it will sell.
Buyers have a great opportunity today. The housing affordability index is at an all-time high and in many cases house payments are less than rental payments even before considering the tax benefits of home ownership. For buyers looking for the long term benefits of home ownership, there historically has not been a better time. Prices are remaining stable, interest rates are low, and the housing industry is on the rebound meaning we have already hit the bottom and we are on the upswing if you were trying to time the market.
Whatever your situation is, we can help. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your personal needs in more detail and see if now is the right time for you to make a move.