Top 10 Real Estate Market Predictions for 2013 -Northern Virginia and DC Metro area

Prediction #10 There will be more real estate agents entering the business. As the housing market shifts for the better, some may see it as an easy way to make money. Applications for the sales person exam has more than doubled since last year. This is very important if you are looking to buy or sell a home or investment property; you need a seasoned agent, with the education, knowledge, and experience to help guide you in making the right decisions.

Prediction #9 Interest Rates. I believe mortgage interest rates will stay below 4% as the fed rates are expected to stay around 0.25%. The cost of ownership is drastically reduced when interest rates are down, as well as, making it a great time to refinance. Contact us and we’ll show you what the numbers truly are and how we can help you make the right decision when buying your next house.

Prediction #8 New Home Market. As inventory levels of resale existing homes have been down as much as 30% throughout 2012 in NOVA, we will see new home builders increase in activity and sales. You may want to consider looking at new home builder stocks, builders with strong fundamentals in areas where there is growth and opportunity, economic and jobs, and sustained growth.

Prediction #7 Existing Home Sales. The resale housing market inventory levels have been falling since 2006 and we have had extremely low inventory levels in Northern Virginia, this year in particular. When the market does come up it will most likely be distressed properties because of pent-up inventory.

Prediction #6 Short Sales & Distressed Properties. We will probably see fewer Short Sales on the market during the 1st/2nd Quarters of 2013 should the mortgage relief act run out. Home owners may simply allow homes to go into foreclosure if there seems no true benefit of the short sale process.

Prediction #5 Housing Prices. Housing prices will continue to increase based upon the inventory levels are at or near all-time lows; supply and demand. With lending guidelines and appraisal guidelines in place we will see moderate slow gains and stabilized growth in the housing market.

Prediction #4 Lender Appraisals. I believe we will continue to have appraisal problems in 2013, guidelines are strict, binding an appraiser to work harder. We have seen some ‘bad’ appraisals with com parables outside of neighborhoods, missing items such as bathrooms, bedrooms and even giving extraordinaire value for items. You need an agent that is aware and knows how to handle this process.

Prediction #3 Lending Guidelines. Look for lending guidelines to become more stringent as the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) and Quality Mortgages (QM) along with the required documentation, double and triple checking credit scores and employment verification. These precautions are the result of the housing boom and are now in place as a prevention method, helping ensure a safer housing market and growth.

Prediction #2 Investment in Real Estate. Investors have been the big player in real estate for the last 3-4 years and will continue. The rental market is extremely tight and rental prices continue to climb. Home prices have been low, making excellent returns for the Investor and allowing one to pick up distressed properties, fix-up and rent or resell. The need of rental housing has also increase as previous owners of foreclosed/short sale homes recover financially.

Prediction #1 REMAX Gateway in 2013. As I look into my crystal ball for 2013 for REMAX Gateway I see we will continue to grow and serve our clients. Currently we have 4 office locations: Lorton, Brambleton, Gainesville, and Chantilly; in 2013 we will be opening our 5th location in Arlington County, Virginia. As our agent count increases, we will continue to have the best and brightest agents, the most productive and educated, and we will continue to serve our clients better than any others!

Wishing you the best in 2013!

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