June Market Update

The Summer Market is Upon Us!

It is hard to believe we are already through the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Time is really flying this year – at least it seems that way to me. Kids are home from college, summer jobs have started, weekend pool parties are in full swing and the real estate market is just as busy as it has been all year. Let’s start with the amazing mortgage interest rates that continue to tumble downward. They are now well into the threes for 30-year fixed rates and are expected to go down even further. This makes now a great time to buy a home! It can still be a challenge to find the right house, as inventory levels remain extremely low – 19% below last year this same week and nearly 30% below what was on the market two years ago. What is also amazing is that sales are up with inventory levels being down. Through April (latest available data point), there was one more sale this year than last year…one more is one more than before. I believe that interest rates will continue to foster sales through the summer as inventory will come on the market. Let’s talk about your plans if you are considering selling – we can position you properly to take advantage of today’s market.

All this being said, the market is not good to all sellers. The reason for this is some sellers are under the belief that their property will sell regardless of price and condition. We are seeing a lot of unrealistic prices on properties, as well as houses in disrepair or in need of substantial work to get the prices sellers are asking. We have seen average prices up over last year by 2.75% which is great, but it is not 2.75% per month like some sellers are pricing their houses at today (and “hoping” to get for them).

From a buyer’s prospective, we are still in a price conscience market. Buyer’s are concerned about paying too much and are analyzing prices closely, especially if they are using a professional REALTOR and not the internet to help them buy a house. The internet is not the way to buy a house today or anytime. The guidance and expertise of a real estate professional is more important today than ever before. If you are considering buying, we should talk sooner rather than later so give me a call.

Have a great June – enjoy the graduation parties!

May Market Update

I’m Still Amazed…

The real estate market never ceases to amaze me. We have weeks, months and years where sales go up and down, prices go up and down, inventory goes up and down, but now, we are dealing with people’s emotions going way up and way down – including real estate agents. The lack of inventory in some areas have resulted in buyers losing out multiple times on their home of choice. They become frustrated and make irrational decisions on prices, terms or location. These decisions will have an impact on their financial lives as well as their quality of life (including potentially longer commutes). When clients lose out on offers multiple times, agents get frustrated too, either because the clients don’t listen on how to position themselves or with other agents believing they were treated unfairly during the negotiations. This is why it is imperative to work with an experienced agent to help you navigate through this emotional time in real estate. An agent that has been there before, understands what is going on and can provide the right advice so you (or someone you know looking to buy) get the proper guidance and the house you want – without getting tied up in the emotion adding stress to the situation. Well, guess what? I have been through these types of turbulent, emotional times and I can lead you or someone you know through these situations, just call me.  I will help everyone stay calm and focused on the eventual task which is getting the house sold.

Keeping with the amazement theme, we still have very low inventory levels – 20% below last year’s levels. This is creating the type of market I just mentioned. Unfortunately, sellers are not immune to the emotions of selling. Unrealistic expectations of timing, pricing and response times from buyers/buyer agents make for stressful times during selling. It is important to have the right expectations when selling a house, mostly to keep the seller on an even keel. Once again, I am here to help provide the right advice, guidance and emotional balance to get you through the home selling process, just give me a call. I am happy to help!

Have a great Memorial Day!

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March Market Update

The Spring Market has Arrived!

The Spring Market has sprung into action! Although inventory levels are down, activity on listings is up, open house visitors are abundant and multiple contracts on listings are happening more frequently throughout Northern Virginia. In Arlington and close in locations, we are seeing contingencies getting waived and huge escalation clauses for buyers to win contracts. It is a good sign for our market to have such great activity and I expect it to continue for the next few months.

All this being said, pricing properties properly is still paramount to success in getting houses sold. Along the Route 1 corridor close to Amazon’s HQ2 people are definitely “future pricing” their houses. Their hopes to cash in are not bearing any fruit and I don’t believe this pricing strategy is going to get them sales any time soon. At this time, pinpoint accuracy in pricing is the strategy to undertake. Do not price for negotiations. Do not price higher because the neighbor received multiple contracts (as not all listings with multiple contracts are going above list price as I mentioned last month’s newsletter).

If you are a buyer, do not despair, we can help you find a house even in the low inventory market dynamic that we are currently experiencing. Although we are below 3,000 active houses for sale in Northern Virginia, the pace of houses coming on the market for sale is increasing each week. We also have access to “Coming Soon” properties through our network of professionals whom we deal with on a regular basis. Having someone scout out properties for you before they officially hit the market is extremely important, so please feel free to call me to discuss this in more detail.

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead this month and get out there and enjoy the longer days!

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February Market Update

Will the Spring Market Arrive Sooner than Later?

What an interesting January we have experienced both weather-wise and in the real estate business. We have golfed and we have shoveled snow/ice this month.  We have had multiple contracts on some houses, and we have had houses sitting on the market (with no showings) for days and even weeks. We have had mild temperatures and we have had epically cold days. We have had 30 plus people at open houses on weekends and we have had no visitors at others.  We have windy days and days that had no breezes. We have seen mortgage interest rates go up and now they are at yearly lows. And, like the temperatures this week, we have seen inventory levels drop to 14-year lows. As I said, it was a very interesting January.

The biggest question we have in the real estate industry is… When will more houses come on the market for sale? Historically we have seen houses start go up for sale the second week of February. So, will this year be the same or will we continue along the same path we are on now…inventory levels going down? The answer is, time will tell.  In conversations with agents across our five offices, we are hearing about some houses will be “coming soon” but not a significant number of them. If you are considering selling, this could be your perfect time to do so.

What is odd to me, and others, is prices are not escalating like you might expect. The tried and true economic theory of supply and demand in regard to pricing does not apply in this market. We have a lack of supply and LOTS of demand, but prices are staying relatively flat and, in some situations, we are even seeing price reductions fairly regularly. Additionally, in several multiple contract situations, we have not seen escalation clauses or even full price offers. Going back to my original sentence, it was an interesting January.

All this being said, we can provide you with the right advice on how you should approach this “interesting” market. Whether you are selling or buying a home, each market and personal situation is different.  So, give me a call to learn more.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Scott’s Market Minute 2/1/19

I’ve been talking about it for a while now…. the inventory levels are still at an epic low! Thinking of selling in the spring? Don’t wait ..learn more in Scott’s latest Market Minute Message. #remaxgateway #northernvirginia #realestate

Give me a call to talk about your unique situation 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer.

In today’s Peak Performer Series message I’d like to talk to ask you about the Blame Game. A lot of times we hear people blaming others, the market, the conditions, etc., but really we should step back to take a look at ourselves. Are we taking responsibility for ourselves and or actions (or lack there of)? Learn more in my latest Motivational Minute message.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

Now go sell something!

And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog at http://www.scottymacsblog.com​

My 2019 Real Estate Predictions

It’s time for Scott MacDonald’s Annual Top 10 Real Estate Predictions for 2019.

What do you think? Do you agree with these predictions? Do you have any predictions of your own for 2019?

Need more real estate information? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

January Market Update

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  “Wow” … that’s what I have to say about our current invent18_300720_q4 social_shares_new_yearory level of homes for sale. As many of you know, I have been tracking active inventory of resale homes since the first week of March 2005. At first it was monthly, now it is weekly as the market can be very dynamic. The reason I initially started this tracking routine back in March 2005 is because I had heard there were 148 contracts on a house in Arlington. We all thought there was little inventory available, so I ran numbers for Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Fauquier Counties, in addition to all the cities within those counties. My analysis concluded that there were only 1,652 houses for sale. With the high demand and unrestricted lending guidelines back in 2005, it is no wonder that we would see so many contracts on ONE individual property. What is even more interesting is by July 2005 there were 7,705 houses listed for sale – truly a rapid ascent, but what is really crazy is that number soared to 22,898 in November 2006. As we all recall, the market crashed in 2007.

So, why do I say “wow”?  Today our inventory level is at the second lowest number since I have been tracking them (March 2005) – only 2,713 homes are currently for sale. I don’t believe we are going to see the rapid ascent as we did in the past, as there is not the exuberance in the market place like there was in the early 2000’s. That being said, we need houses to sell! Buyers are out looking. We had multiple showings on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day – there is a strong demand for housing. Interest rates are creeping lower, so buyers are looking to take advantage of this opportunity. If you are considering selling, now is a great time. Typically, we see inventory rise the second or third week of February. Let’s see how the market trends this year. Obviously, every situation is personal and different so if you are considering a move, call me to discuss how we can help you.

Wishing you and your family a very prosperous 2019!

 

December Market Update

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Happy Holidays!  As you are out shopping, heading to parties, potlucks and the like, we too are in full holiday mode in the real estate market. Inventory is dropping as sellers who are not in a “must sell” situation are taking their homes off the market, leaving us with sellers who truly “need to sell” staying on the market. This time of year is always a great time to buy as opportunities are available for home buyers. Sellers, don’t despair, there is activity, houses are selling, and, in some cases, multiple offers are out there. Recently, we have had 20 plus people attend open houses as the weather has been cooperating.  Also, with less inventory and houses decorated for the season, you can still sell your house as the festive look appeals to many home buyers. To learn more if you should buy or sell in December, please call me.

What else is happening in our area? Well, Amazon HQ2 and a half is coming to Crystal City. My feeling is this will have some impact in the very local area, but not overall as it did in the Puget Sound area where Amazon built their first headquarters. Over half of the new jobs will be non-tech related and the average salary will be $150,000. This salary is very good, but not enough to escalate prices like Amazon employees did in Seattle. The average sales price in Crystal City today is $565,000 and we may see this increase as investors are looking to buy, but not everyone is going to buy. Also, many prospective employees may already be in the area working at other companies, so this too won’t impact housing to a large extent. Lastly, in our area, we have created, on average, 50,000 jobs per year over the last decade. Amazon is only bringing 2,500 jobs per year over the next 10-15 years for a total of 25,000 jobs. Again, this is a nice boost to employment, but not enough to spike the needle in our local real estate market. It is definitely a good thing for our region as we beat out 238 other cities for HQ2, showing the rest of the country we have reasons why other companies should move here as well. If you have any other questions, please feel free to call me.

Have a fantastic holiday season with your family and friends! We’re looking forward to an amazing 2019!