Wow, 2015 flew by in a blink of an eye and I am sure 2016 will as well. As I mentioned in my previous market updates, we pretty much enjoyed a stable market for housing in 2015. I expect things to pick up in 2016 because of all the recent activity. Many of our agents have been working through the holidays with clients and I too have been meeting with both buyers and sellers looking to make moves in 2016 – more so than any other recent December. So buckle up, the market will be moving forward in a positive direction.
A few areas in the mortgage arena for us to keep our eyes on are rising interest rates and loan products. Now that the Fed has raised their rate, mortgage interest rates are now just above 4%. Still great, don’t get me wrong, but they are just a tad higher than where they have been most of 2015. The other interesting thing to watch with mortgages are the new programs coming into the market. Fannie Mae now has a low down payment loan to compete with FHA loans. These loans compete because the down payment can be a gift so buyers don’t need to have their own money saved for the down payment. Additionally, I have read there are potentially no down payment loans coming back into the market soon. These two loan products could help Millennial buyers enter the market sooner as they have not been able to save for their down payments due to high rents, student loan debt and lower paying jobs. This is important because Millenials will be the largest home buying demographic once they can afford to buy.
Something else to watch is as sales continue to rise, prices too will follow – hopefully at a sustainable rate and not like the San Francisco market or our market from 2002-2006. Home ownership is extremely important to wealth building and consistent growth in prices help this happen for many people. We don’t need an escalating housing price market like we had in the past, as no one wins in the end. I would expect a 3-5% increase in housing overall in Northern Virginia. Some areas will see more, others less, so please ask me about your home’s value if you are interested.
As always, if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, I am here to help so please feel free to call me. Here is to making 2016 one of your best years ever! Happy New Year!
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