October Market Update

As the summer comes to an end, we’re seeing the real estate market continue to move steadily along. We don’t anticipate any drop off in sales as we enter the fall selling season. We have buyers looking to enter the home buying market – especially first-time buyers. Interest rates remain low, new loan programs are becoming available to help cash strapped purchasers and these opportunities are available in all price points. As I see it, our challenge will continue to be inventory levels, as many home owners are staying in their homes. They are doing so because they are not able to find homes to fit their needs in available move up price points. We are also seeing an increase in the amount of people that are renting their houses since they are gaining equity and have low interest rates/payments which allow them to have positive cash flow.

We also have three types of sellers – those who want to sell, those who need to sell and those who have to sell.  Those who want to sell typically take their houses off the market as we head into the holidays, therefore reducing inventory.  As long as we have houses to sell, the market will stay steady.  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns if you are considering selling – the market conditions just might be in your favor.

Lastly, please keep an eye on what is happening with the President’s Tax Reform – doubling the standard deduction, eliminating state and local tax deductions and only having three tax brackets. Industry professionals predict these may all affect home values by 10%.  Again, if these changes occur, it could affect housing as tax payers who claim mortgage interest deductions may no longer be able to claim this deduction, thereby eliminating the need to buy as a tax plan.  Housing is critical to our economy so implementing this plan could put damper on the economic recovery.  Let’s hope this reform doesn’t pass in its current form.

Halloween-Sold-Sign

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Northern Virginia Real Estate, Housing Inventory and Snowmagedon 2016

Scott MacDonald video update about the local housing market statistics and the impact on buying and selling a home in Northern Virginia – even with Winter Storm Jonas and the possibility of Snowmageddon 2016!  click to play video

Scott Market Minute 2016JAN22

Now is a great time to buy and sell a house!

Contact Scott MacDonald 702-652-5777 Broker for RE/MAX Gateway for more information and a personal assessment of your housing goals.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

How low will it go?

It has finally happened.  Inventory levels in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Arlington, Fauquier, Alexandria and all the cities in between have now dropped below 5,000 homes for sale.  We have just 4,692 properties on the market. We have not been this low in nearly a year.  This number is not an all time low – the first week of March in 2005 we had 1,652 houses for sale – this was the all time low for this region.  If you are curious, the all time high was the third week of November 2006 when we had 22,898 houses for sale. So as you can see, we are approaching an extreme situation in housing – nothing for home shoppers to buy.  A more balanced market would be in the 8,500 to 9,000 range – we are at about 50% of where we need to be.

So what does all of this mean?  If you are a seller, now is the time to put your house on the market because there is very little competition.  If you are a buyer, you will more than likely be in a multiple contract situation so be ready to put your best offer on the table initially.  Also, buyers will turn to new construction as an alternative to their housing needs as they can’t find suitable solutions in the resale market.  Lastly, prices should continue to increase – just need the appraisers to agree this is the situation.

What else is low and going lower?  Interest rates.  It is amazing that virtually every week the news is rates continue to hit new all time lows.  This makes now a great time to buy or refinance.

So, what is your opinion?  How soon will it be before we see an increase in inventory?  When will we see rates increase?  I’d love to hear your opinion so give me a call.

What’s it all mean?

Over the last few years we have been providing you with information on the real estate market that we believe is valuable to you and helps aid you in your decision as to whether or not to buy and sell real estate.  Also, our thought is it gives you something to talk about around the office, with your neighbors or at cocktail parties! 

  • But what do all the numbers and terms mean you may ask?  Well, here is a quick guide for you going forward.  The numbers we quote are for the areas our offices conduct a majority of their business.  These areas include Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, and Fauquier Counties plus all the cities in between like Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park. 
  • Active inventory or resales are the number of houses for sale where the owners are selling their homes and not a builder. 
  • Month’s supply of houses is the absorption rate or sales of homes divided into the number of active properties on the market.  Basically, if no other houses came on the market, it would take that many months to sell all the houses that are for sale.  As a general rule, 6 months is considered to be a balanced market – neither a buyer or seller’s market.  Less than 6 months is considered to be a seller’s market and more than 6 months is a buyer’s market. 
  • Days on the market are the average number of days on the market it takes for a house to sell after going up for sale.  Again, typically the fewer the average days on market the more likely it is to be a seller’s market and the longer the average days on market is typically indicative of a buyer’s market.  In addition, the fewer the days on the market of a particular home, the more likely the sellers are to receive a full price offer or even multiple offers. 
  • This brings us to multiple offers.  It is what it says.  The owners received more than one offer to purchase the home when it was put on the market for sale.  How does this happen?   Typically it is because of high demand for an area because of the school district, location to commuter routes, shopping, etc. along with the sellers pricing the property properly, getting the home in the right condition and the staging of the house that makes this possible.
  • Distressed property inventory are houses that represent short sales and foreclosures.  A short sale is when a home owner owes more money on the house than what the house is worth and they are trying to get their lender(s) to approve a sale for less than the amount owed to them.  A foreclosure is where the owner of the house stopped making payments and the bank took the property back through a series of steps required by the state and allowed through the deed of trust.

If you have any other questions or concerns about the numbers or the terms discussed monthly, feel free to contact me.  As Sy Sims used to say, “An educated consumer is our best customer”.