Scott’s Market Minute 6/2/17

Do you plan on selling your home soon? If so, get comfortable… and watch this week’s Market Minute message for more details…

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

Have a great weekend!

Scott’s Market Minute 5/19/17

Another interesting week in the real estate market! Inventory is up, consumer confidence is up, rates are down…but there are some soft spots… Learn more in this weeks Market Minute video message.

If you’d like to talk about your specific situation, please give me a call at 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

Have a great weekend!

Scott’s Market Minute 4/21/17

 

Another interesting week in the Northern Virginia housing market … Interest rates are DOWN and inventory is…. check out my latest Market Minute for more info.

Interested in learning more about selling your home or buying a new one? Feel free to give me a call at 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

Happy Earth Day!

April Market Update

Crazy Weather, Crazy Market…
spring scott blog

The Northern Virginia real estate market has been a lot like our weather in March…hot and cold. We’ve had some markets that have been on fire – Reston as an example; while others have been normal which makes Realtors and sellers feel on edge or think that the market is “cold”. It is extremely important to have the right expectation when selling your house – not every house sells in a day with multiple contracts. Many houses take a couple of months to sell. The current average is 62 days on the market in Northern Virginia. This is below the national average so we still have a great market. Buyers are buying and as result, the supply of existing houses for sale is down to a 1.2 month supply of homes. So, my advice is to be realistic if you are going to be selling your house and if you get a contract quickly, make the most of it, but don’t expect the process to happen fast.

Again, the good news is that sales are up 6% over last year, sales prices are up 2.8%, mortgage interest rates are still phenomenal and the inventory levels are increasing – so we should continue to see a good spring market. Even with inventory levels increasing, we are still 19% below last year’s levels. My belief is this will continue to happen for the next few months – inventory will rise but we will still lag behind previous years because we have strong fundamentals in place for a good housing market.

If rates continue to rise as a result of “Trumpenomics”, buyers will and should consider adjustable rate mortgages. Typically, ARM products like a 7/1 ARM run about ¾ of a point less in interest rates. As an example, 30 year fixed rates are about 4.25% and a 7/1 ARM is about 3.5% – definitely something to consider when buying a house today.

We can discuss your plans in more detail to see if this is a viable option for you. Please let me know if you have any specific questions or concerns as I am here to help!

Happy Spring Break and Easter!

Would you like to learn more? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

 

February Market Update

So Far This Year…

Nothing can stop the real estate market here in Northern Virginia; not the rising interest rates, not the pull back of the FHA mortgage insurance premium reduction, not lack of inventory, and especially not this cold weather we are experiencing.

Sales are strong and we appear to be headed for a robust spring housing market.  In addition to the group of buyers we are currently working with, we are getting lots of online leads from additional buyers asking about houses; both new builds andrrg-logo_small resale. Typically, this group will become home buyers in three to nine months – stay tuned for more details as we get down the road with these leads.

Today’s buyers are looking in all price ranges and in all locations throughout Northern Virginia. As you would imagine, the lower price points are in very high demand, but so are higher priced properties in areas like McLean and North Arlington.  We have some soft spots (lowering of prices and accumulation of days on the market) in the Great Falls area, but typically, if houses are priced right, in good condition and have been staged, they are selling quickly!  Thus, inventory is at a four year low with just over 3,900 existing homes currently for sale. We expect properties to come on the market in February, but with the demand we are experiencing now, they too should sell quickly.

So, what are the lessons we have learned so far in 2017?  If you are a buyer, act quickly! If you find a home meets your criteria and suits your lifestyle, make an offer, don’t wait.  Many properties are receiving numerous offers; therefore they are selling quickly.

If you are a seller, get your house “right” and get it on the market sooner rather than later – there is a strong appetite for housing today.  Buyers are out there and ready to make a move.

If you would like to discuss your situation in more detail, please feel free to call me today.  I would enjoy meeting with you to determine which is the best option for you to pursue.

Stay warm!

Scott can be reached at 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net.

Northern Virginia Real Estate – Optimism and Home Buying are in the air for 2016

We continue to have great optimism about home sales in 2016 despite the storm of the century just a few short weeks ago.  We are experiencing a mild winter and agents are building momentum into the spring market making this a great time to buy or sell a home. optimistic heart line Interest rates are phenomenal despite the Federal Reserve raising their rates.
Inventory levels are below last year’s level year-to-date and the great news is, sales are up.  We have pent up demand for housing in Northern Virginia which can be seen when visiting open houses on weekends and our listings are getting great activity throughout the week.  Today’s buyers are serious and are taking action on homes that are staged well, in condition and priced right.  In many cases, we are seeing multiple contracts.

In looking back at 2015, through November, sales of both new and existing homes had increased over the previous year.  According to a recent release from the Department of Commerce, new home sales in 2015 came in at 490,000—the best numbers since August of 2015.  We expect these numbers to increase throughout 2016 as well.  Builders have expressed multiple times they are optimistic as well.

Basic information on the economy shows us that unemployment is at a 7-year low, wages are 5% higher than a year ago, and home prices continue – moderately.  Let’s hope this trend continues as we definitely need higher paying jobs in our area.

One area of potential concern today is in the refinance boom of 2005-2007.  During this time, many borrowers took out 10-year mortgages that were interest only and their reset dates are now coming into maturity.  This means their loan balance is now amortized over 20 years for the last 20 years of the loan increasing their monthly payments significantly.  Add to this potential issue is many of the homes used to collateralize these loans have not gotten back to the value of where they were making it difficult to refinance again.  This could result in short sales and foreclosures.  Let’s pay attention to how this plays out.

As you know, if you have any questions or concerns, you can call, text or email me anytime.  We are here to help you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Buckle up and hold on tight! 2016 Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

Wow, 2015 flew by in a blink of an eye and I am sure 2016 will as well.  As Happy New Year 2016 from REMAX GatewayI 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!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway
4090B Lafayette Center Drive, Chantilly, VA 20151
Offices strategically located throughout Northern Virginia.

Healthy Housing Market For Home Buying And Selling in Northern Virginia

The Northern Virginia real estate market continues to remain stable. Recent numbers show that houses are selling, prices are raising slightly, and inventory levels are increasing slightly. All of these numbers are at healthy levels in my opinion. 2015 Interest Rates Home Prices in the Northern Virginia Real Estate MarketThis news is making now a good time to both sell and buy a property.

One thing that has been a wild card is interest rates. Increased rates can hamper the steadiness of our market and right now they are near 2015 highs.  Over the past 3 weeks, there have only been two days where rates managed to improve even a little bit.  Four out of the past six days have seen uncommonly big moves higher.  These are the sorts of moves that we’d normally only see 2-3 times per month, so to see 4 of them in just over a week is alarming. It is definitely an area we need to pay attention to moving forward.

Going forward, I see more of the same out of our housing market. There will be a good home selection for buyers to choose from, reasonable prices and rates remaining in the 4% range. As good homes come on the market that are priced right, they are selling because there are buyers in the market looking to own. Houses that have been on the market because the owners “pushed” prices, didn’t have them in the right condition or just had bad timing (putting them on the market at the end of October) will continue to sit. Buyers want fresh listings, not old, tired listings that have been lingering on the market. Therefore, it remains critical to have your house staged, in the right condition and priced right to get it sold if you are looking to put your house on the market.

If you have any questions or concerns about your situation, feel free to call me today 703-652-5777 . I am happy to discuss how we can help you.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

NFL Super Bowl Challange and a “No Deflate-Gate” in the Northern Virginia Real Estate Market!

Watch Scott’s Market Minute!

Low interest rates, low resale housing market inventory and great loan options.  If you are considering buying or selling real estate – contact me for a free consultation 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

Will You accept Scott MacDonald’s NFL Challange?

New Year Sparks Hope and Much Anticipated Home Sales As Early Spring Real Estate Market 2015 Approaches

The beginning of the year always brings about hope, excitement and anticipation of good things ahead and 2015 is no different.  We believe that this year will be a much better year for real estate in Northern Virginia.  There are many reasons for this optimism – great rates, new financing programs, lower inventory levels, positive consumer confidence and pent-up demand.

Let’s review each of these areas.HOPE SPARK IN 2015 REAL ESTATE MARKET

  • Great rates. Although there has been a very slight uptick in rates recently, rates remain very low historically.  Additionally, the interest rates will remain low through 2015 perhaps not reaching 5% until later in the year.
  • New financing programs. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have both begun to accept 3% down payments for first time home buyers.  There will be guidelines such as a minimum 620 credit score, borrowers will have to take an educational class, and they couldn’t have owned a home in the last 3 years to qualify.  With 45% of renters delaying a home purchase because of available funds for a down payment, this should increase the number of home buyers in 2015.
  • Lower inventory levels. In September of this year, we reached a 7 year high in inventory in Northern Virginia with 9,163 houses for sale.  Since that time, the number of available homes has declined each week.  We now have just 5,944 homes for sale which resulted in a brisk sales month for December.  Some of these properties will come back on the market this upcoming spring, but many sold.  As long as we have a moderate winter weather-wise, inventory will slowly enter the market and we won’t have the accelerated inventory levels we experienced in May of 2014 due to the weather.
  • Positive consumer confidence. Many more people today believe that the economy, their personal situation and the real estate market are all going to be better in the future.  These optimistic expectations are leading indicators to people purchasing in the upcoming months – including housing.  Additionally, Freddie Mac and builders also have high expectations of the housing market.  These expectations will have a positive impact on housing in 2015.
  • Pent up demand. As previously mentioned, December experienced a brisk sales month here locally.  We continue to receive calls, emails and internet requests on our homes for sale.   This shows us that there are many people ready to buy the right home that suits their personal lifestyle needs.  Also, many people who went through distressed sales just a few years ago are able to purchase again.  Job growth coupled with population growth locally will also increase demand for housing.

One other area to see home ownership grow in 2015 and beyond is the Millennial homebuyers.  They believe in home ownership as a wealth building opportunity and an overwhelming majority of them will be buying in the next 5 years.  Lastly, rising rental rates will push more people into ownership as a cost savings measure.

All of these positive influences in our region will strengthen our housing market in 2015 and beyond.  As we see our local economy continuing to rebound after 4 years of stagnant growth, this will have a positive impact on housing.  To see what this means to you, please feel free to contact me.

Cheers in the New Year!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Happy New Year 2015 _ ScottyMacsBlog Real Estate Market