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!

Special Market Update Message – Amazon HQ2

The future is so bright, we’ve gotta wear shades…..but it might not be as bright as some think it will be. Amazon HQ2 will bring growth to the Northern Virginia area, but it will be gradual, not overnight. Learn more about my thoughts on the impact this will have on the housing market in my special Market Update Message.

If you have any questions about this or if you would like to discuss your current situation, please give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

November Market Update

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We are Grateful for You!

Now that another Halloween has come and gone, hopefully you weren’t spooked by the real estate market and the news that you have heard about it. The market is good – not bad – not slow – not great – just good. People need to expect that their house isn’t going to sell in a matter of hours or days, it will, in most cases, take a couple of weeks to a month or even longer to sell. As I’ve said before, it all depends upon your price point, condition and location. All around the region, we are seeing median days on market are up as are the average days on market. Again, don’t be spooked, we continue to see steady sales, low inventory and stable prices. Buyers are just taking a bit little longer to make decisions on buying. Some are still looking for the house to be in perfect condition at a “value” price. In some cases, they too, need to be realistic. Not every house is perfect and not every house is value priced so, just make an offer and see how the seller responds. If there is a house for sale, the sellers want it sold and they just want to “hear” it from the market and not the agent in a lot of cases.

So, what is on the horizon? Interest rates will continue to rise which will cause some buyers to leave the market. Some will opt for alternative forms of financing such as adjustable rate mortgages or if you have an assumable loan – assumptions. If you are interested in buying, this is a great option as well. Please give me a call to learn more whether you are selling or buying.

What else could impact our area you ask? Amazon and their HQ2 is the answer! At this time, they are in advanced negotiations with Northern Virginia on their next headquarter location, Crystal City to be more precise. What does this mean for our region? There will be some impact on housing, some impact on commercial properties (depending upon their location), a definite impact on our economy and lastly, an
impact on traffic as 50,000 jobs (or 25,000 if they split the locations) plus supporting company employment will bring more commuters. The local real estate industry is excited about this potential move, but we are not counting on anything concrete until the final decision is made. If you would like to know more, please feel free to call me as I have been following this developing news quite extensively. Also, I am happy to discuss your next move at any time.

Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with your family and friends!
-Scott

Scott’s Market Minute 9/28/18

Inventory levels have come down from last week, and in some areas, prices have too! Is not the time to buy? Learn more in this week’s Market Minute Update.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation, please feel free to give me a call at 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

#realestate #northernvirginia

Scott’s Market Minute 8/10/18

How’s the market these days? I’m comparing the real estate market to the Washington Nationals again in this week’s market minute message. Click play to learn more!

If you’d like to learn more or talk about your specific real estate situation, feel free to give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

August Market Update

As Summer Winds Down…

Wow, did July fly by or what? It seems like it just started and it is over already. This month we saw inventory levels stay steady – which is typical for this time of year. The biggest difference is the amount of inventory available in the resale market. We are currently down 12% from this time last year. The good news for sellers is the pace of sales is comparable to last year’s sales – resulting in a 1.9 month supply of homes versus 2.1 last year. Unfortunately, while overall home prices are up, they are not flying off the market as quickly as they did earlier this year. Therefore, patience is required in some selling situations. The buyers in today’s market are taking their time making decisions as they are not feeling compelled to write an offer on the home the first time they view it. The market dynamics have shifted, and sellers need to be aware of this, so they remain patient and not anxious. If you are thinking of selling, let’s get together to discuss your plans in more detail.

Mortgage interest rates are about a half point higher than last year, so this may also be impacting a buyer’s decision-making process. In addition, some houses have higher price tags than what they are worth resulting in some buyer hesitation on making offers as they don’t want to offend the seller. It is a complex transaction and will, in many cases, be someone’s largest asset, so taking the time and analyzing the house, the market and various options available to them can be a good thing for many people. In any of these
situations, I’d be happy to assist in helping find the best location and home
for you when deciding to make a move.

end of summer

As high school sports are back in full swing with their practices starting and the vacation season behind us, let’s see if we don’t have a quick uptick in housing sales before September. As always, time will tell.  Enjoy the hot rainy weather and feel free to call us anytime.

 

Scott’s Market Minute 7/6/18

Much like my desk today, the real estate market is a mess! Learn more about the advantage of being a buyer in the Northern Virginia market right now in my latest Market Minute message.

Would you like to talk about your current situation – looking or buy or sell?  Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

July Market Update

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With half of the year over, the real estate market in Northern Virginia has slowed to a normal pace. This has put some sellers and Realtors in a bit of a panic as they felt the brisk market we experienced earlier this year was going to continue for a longer time than it did. It is important to understand that the frenetic pace of sales in February, March and into April was not sustainable nor the norm. We still are experiencing sales, but houses are not selling in hours or days for the most part, but are now selling in weeks, which is what is the expected time frame. Buyers are being more selective and taking their time making decisions which, again, is normal. Keep in mind, there is now more inventory and houses are staying on the market longer which means more choices and time for buyers to make decisions. If you are the seller, please know that this is okay. Your house will sell if it has a compelling price, is in great condition and a in nice location, it just won’t sell as fast as your neighbor’s house did earlier this year. Keep in mind, we are still seeing multiple offers on homes that meet the conditions above.

The real estate market can and does change on a dime. Important factors to pay attention to are: inventory levels in your price range, days on market – both average and median, and prices – if are they up or if are they are down. Every market is different and therefore deserves special attention which we can help you analyze. Experience matters so be sure to reach out to us if you are considering selling.

Interest rates on mortgages increased but have recently eased back down which is good news for buyers. We expect to be in this type of environment through the end of the year – somewhere between 4.5 and 5% for 30 -year fixed loans. These are awesome rates for sure, which is important for buyers to remember. The theory is higher rates will affect first time buyers in lower price points more than move up buyers or even first-time buyers in higher price points, so keep an eye out if you are considering a purchase. We are here to help you determine what loan program is best for you. We are full service!
Have a very Happy 4th of July celebrating with family and friends. Be safe!

June Market Update

Hello Summer!

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As we head into the long, hot days of summer, we are seeing that the Northern Virginia real estate market is in a “weird” place right now. It appears that some current buyers are creating unrealistic expectations while on the search for their new home – not every house is perfect, nor will it be. Each home has its flaws and sellers are not required to make houses “like new”. Home inspection list requests, multiple visits to the house with multiple inspectors (some licensed, some not) and extensive walk through items on or before the day of settlement are making selling a house even more difficult today than ever before. Unreasonable demands are being put on sellers and buyers in many cases are threatening not to close over last minute or minor issues that did not come up on the home inspection. Now, this isn’t happening in all cases, but it is in a lot of situations which is making the process more stressful than home selling normally is. It is my belief that buyers feel they are paying too much or are paying top dollar and because of shows they see HGTV, they feel the houses need to be nearly perfect. Hopefully, these demands will revert back to normal sooner rather than later. Time will tell.

So, what does this mean? It is more important today to have a professional Realtor, with years of experience on your side to guide you through the process, letting you know what is reasonable and expected and what is not. This is for both buyers and sellers. Please let me know if you or anyone you know may need my assistance.

As far as inventory goes, we are relatively flat week-over-week recently and sales remain strong. The issue remains the number of houses for sale are 18% below last year and 29% below 2 years ago and with sales remaining consistently high, we see prices increasing in some areas across the region. Now, not every market is strong, and not every house is seeing an escalation in value so please be sure to ask me what the right price is for your house if you are considering selling. Each area, house type, condition of the property and location dictate value today.

Stay dry and cool in these crazy summertime weather conditions.

 

Scott’s Market Minute 6/1/18

My weekly Market Minute live from Chantilly National Golf & Country Club. The rain has put a damper on the market … what do you think?

If you would like to talk more about your specific situation, please feel free to give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net