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!

Real Estate Market Changes and Challenges November 2015

Leaves are falling and so is our inventory of homes for sale in Northern Virginia.  It is typical that homeowners who don’t need to sell or don’t have to sell take their homes off the market this time of year.Fall 2015 Real Estate Update  Along with the falling leaves and inventory, house sales are also falling – again, typical for this time of year.  Many potential homebuyers take a break over the holiday in anticipation of the spring market.

All this being said, there are sales happening in the marketplace.  Year over year sales are up in Northern Virginia as are sales prices making our housing market healthy.  If you have a situation which causes you to sell, now is a good time to do so.  With lower inventory levels and serious buyers in the market you can set your house apart from the competition to attract a sale.  Couple this with mortgage interest rates remaining low adds to the allure of home ownership right now.

On an interesting note, the SEC passed a ruling – Title III – which will allow retail investors to have access to invest in private businesses without that company having to register with the SEC.  This could have an impact on real estate as Equity Crowdfunding is a $2.5 Billion market.  These are groups that are forming to purchase properties and rent them out or fix and flip them.  This ruling goes into effect in 90 days and it won’t transform real estate overnight but it is something for us to keep an eye on moving forward.  To learn more about this, please feel free to call me 703-652-5777.

Oh, and we cannot forget, it is that time of year again, when the holiday season comes into full swing!  We have Thanksgiving right around the corner followed by Christmas and New Year’s Day – lots of time to spend with family and friends.  We wish you a happy time this season and hope you have a great holiday season.  And always remember, if you have any questions or concerns about real estate, we are here to help!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

4090B Lafayette Center Drive, Chantilly, VA 20151

Offices strategically located throughout Northern Virginia.

A Stable Real Estate Market and Great Interest Rates – That’s Something To Be Thankful For

Well, we have good news to report on the market – We have reached a point of stability.

We are now officially into the winter market as we are starting to see things wind down.  Our listing inventory is currently at 8,512 houses for sale which is actually down from our 7 year high last month.  STONE BALANCEWe have a 3.7 month supply of homes which is about the same level as last month.  Obviously, we would like to see more sales as would our sellers but we are maintaining our sales levels, not decreasing which is more good news.  Additional positive news is interest rates remain low and prices are stable so the opportunity for buyers to lock in reasonable monthly payments is available.  From the buyer’s perspective, now is a great time to buy.

I had a conversation with Josh Burruss of MVB Mortgage about payments with rates where they are today versus a situation where they to go up .5% – here is the result of our discussion.  Currently the rate on a 30 year fixed conforming mortgage is approximately 4.00% (APR 4.058%) based on a sales price of $500,000 with a down payment of 20%.  If the interest rate were to rise just 0.5% (4.50% – APR of 4.562%) from current levels, the principal and interest payments would increase by approximately $117/mo.  The difference in the overall finance charge in these two interest rates over the life of the loan is approximately $42,241.94.  As you can see, just a half percent in interest rate can mean a huge difference in overall cost over the life of a mortgage.  If you want to discuss this with him in greater detail, feel free to call him at 703-727-4239.

Moving forward, we need to pay attention to the end of QE3 and the government’s subsequent completion of bond buying.  We are expecting rates to rise into 2015 as a result of this policy.  Right now we have great rates so take advantage while you can because the Fed still thinks it will be a “considerable time” before it begins to raise interest rates. The Zero Interest Rate Policy remains in full force, as it has been since it began at the end of 2008.  This policy will change because we cannot sustain this type of monetary policy as it just continues to add to our National debt.  Plus, we need a market-driven interest rate environment and a more predictable monetary policy to help foster long term economic growth.  This will definitely impact our housing recovery moving forward.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your housing situation in more detail so please feel free to contact me via email scottmacdonald@remax.net or give me a call 703-652-5777

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Stable Real Estate Market Dispite Increase In Distressed Properties

Stable Real Estate Market SEPT 2014The word this past month used to describe the real estate market would be stable.

Although we are at an 8 year high in inventory levels, we didn’t see the rapid increase in inventory like we have experienced since May which is a good thing.  One area that we saw an increase in was in distressed property inventory.  Even though nationwide there are fewer foreclosures and short sales, we have more of them on the market here locally.  They are nowhere near previous levels but they are up 22% since the last week of June.  We will continue to monitor this for you and let you know of opportunities that are available.  We also did see a slowdown in sales which we don’t like to experience.  It was the fewest amount of sales for a month since January of this year but their numbers were virtually identical week to week so they were stable.  So, when you have high inventory levels coupled with fewer sales, we have seen more stable prices which is good for buyers.  It helps to keep housing affordability levels high for our buyer clients.  Owners are seeing the need to properly price their houses to make them competitive with the rest of the marketplace.  In addition to these market conditions we saw rates decline which helps keep the market stable as well.  Lastly, one area of surprise we experienced was the past week at our listings.  We saw an uptick in showings and buyer interest in our listings on line and in phone call inquiries.  This is good news as activity leads to sales.

FALL 2014 prognosis SOLID REAL ESTATE MARKETOn another note, we have a group of agents from different companies in our area that meet monthly.  These agents are in the top 5% of agents across the entire country in regards to sales.  We discuss the local market, inventory levels, buyer preferences, seller expectations, listing activity, and many other real estate related topics.   In this Platinum Club group meeting this past month we discussed the fall market and what our expectations were about the upcoming season.  The sentiment is the fall market will be a solid market in regards to sales.  We were all optimistic about what the market is going to bring and seeing activity at our listings pick up this past week may be the start of the momentum our region needs.  We will keep you posted.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or if you know of someone who may need our help.  We are here for you. Feel free to call me directly (703) 652-5777.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

What A Buyer Wants In A House For Sale In Northern Virginia

Now that the spring market has sprung – inventory levels too have sprung into full bloom.

Our inventory levels are at three year highs with over 6,100 homes for sale in Northern Virginia. We have not had this many homes for sale since November of 2011 – nearly 3.5 years ago.  This is good for buyers who are searching for homes but sellers need to be cognizant of what this means to them.Image

Inventory levels are up 36% over this same time last year so sellers need to be competitive when they put their properties up for sale. What we have been seeing in the market is buyers are very discriminating now when it comes to their home selection. Properties need to be in model home condition, have great curb appeal and need to be priced right in order to get offers. When homes meet these criteria, they often times are receiving multiple offers while their neighbors who haven’t staged their homes, haven’t gotten them into model home condition or haven’t priced them properly sit on the market. We see sellers push values and stay for sale for extended periods of time. We see other sellers who don’t declutter or continue to “live” in their homes versus stage their homes properly and they sit on the market. Lastly, we see sellers not make the appropriate upgrades like painting, carpet replacement, adding granite, etc. and their homes continue to stay up for sale while others sell. Many of today’s buyers don’t want to make the upgrades, don’t have the vision to get homes into the right condition or don’t have the funds to make the improvements but qualify to buy the homes that have been put into the proper selling condition. As inventory levels rise, it is extremely important to make your house as competitive as possible to get it sold because there are buyers out there.

On another note, interest rates remain low which is helping purchasers become home owners both as first time buyers and as move up buyers which is good for our market. As rates increase, we will see people embrace adjustable rate mortgages as an option – especially first time buyers as their objectives are to only stay in the property for a short period of time. If you are considering a purchase, please ask about ARM’s and if they are a viable option for you.

Let’s hope the weather heats up and helps fuel the real estate market. The winter was brutal and the comment was made, if you can’t get out and buy milk and bread, you can’t get out and buy a house. Come on warmer temperatures – we need ya!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

 

Scott’s Market Minute: Spring Real Estate Market Is Warming Up

Residential inventory of houses for sale in Northern Virginia is beginning to pick up and the Washington Wizards kicked off the playoffs with their first win! Get all the stats here and everything you need to know to set yourself up for success! Are you buying or selling? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 scottmacdonald@remax.net to find out the best strategies to put yourself ahead in this housing market.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

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Northern Virginia Homes For Sale – The Inventory Is Climbing!

The inventory of homes for sale in Northern Virginia is growing quickly. You need to know how to set yourself up for success in this Spring real estate market! Are you buying or selling? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 or email scottmacdonald@remax.net for information and strategies to put yourself ahead in this housing market.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Things Heat Up: Valentines Day and the Northern Virginia Real Estate Market

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Northern Virginia? Scott MacDonald of RE/MAX Gateway offers valuable information to home sellers, buyers, and REALTORS and what is driving the real estate housing market in his video blog Scott’s Market Minute.

If you are thinking of selling in 2014, now is the time to get the answers to your questions. Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777  There’s still time to get your home listed for sale in this early Spring market!

Buyers, the resale home inventory is very low and rates are beginning to climb, now is the time to buy a home! Email Scott for a free optimized homes for sale search engine or list. ScottMacDonald@remax.net or read more… https://scottymacsblog.com/

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

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How to Get Multiple Offers On Your Home For Sale In Northern Virginia

Unlike the weather, the real estate market is HOT!

WINTER SCENEWe currently have a 1.8 month supply of houses on the market in Northern Virginia.

Interest rates remain low so buyers are buying homes and jobs in the DC Metro area continue to be created so people are looking for housing in our market.  We expect this trend to continue for the next several months.  Sellers are in the proverbial driver seat if they do the right things to their property before putting it on the market.  If you are considering selling your house, read more below…

As I mentioned, right now our biggest issue is finding houses to sell.  We currently have 3,850 properties for sale in all of Northern Virginia – down from a high of the last year when we had 6,005 in the second week of October.  That is a 36% decrease in houses for sale in just 3 months.  We expect more properties to come on the market as the ice and snow melt, as well as, into the spring market but we have a lot of people looking so I don’t see that it will have a huge impact in regards to our inventory level moving forward.

The low inventory situation has resulted in multiple contracts on properties that are in great shape, priced well and show well.  As properties come on the market that are in the same situation, they too will have multiple contracts.  Therefore, buyers need to be prepared.  We have developed a strategy to help buyers position their contracts to win when in competitive situations – check out my blog to learn more – www.scottymacsblog.com simply search for multiple contracts or click the link here.  Sellers need to seek our advice when selling so we can help stage the house, give direction on what improvements/repairs need to be made and to price the home properly so they can take advantage of the market.

REMAX FOR SALE SIGN SOLD

As always, I am available to answer any questions you may have in regards to your personal situation so feel free to contact me anytime.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway, LLC

(703) 652-5777

scottmacdonald@remax.net

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Is it over yet? Why Northern Virginia Home Sales Went On A Wild Roller Coaster Ride

October took the real estate market roller coaster ride.

Rates went up, rates came down.  Sales went down, sales went up.  Inventory rose, inventory came back down.

Real Estate Market Roller Coaster Ride 31OCT2013

In some areas, the number of multiple contracts went down, then they went back up.  Inventory of short sales and foreclosures were down, then they rose but luckily by not too much.  The government shut down and the government opened back up – luckily, it was not too long and did not have a tremendous impact on the housing market.

Our emotions went up, our emotions came back down, as there was a lot of concern about delays in closings associated with the shut down because of the reduced number of employees at FHA and the IRS, but we avoided a potential disaster there.  Additionally, we were worried about the government defaulting on their debt which would have sent interest rates skyrocketing, and again, fortunately, this did not happen.

Even though there were so many ups and downs, the market in October this year was still better compared to a year ago.  There were more home sales, higher home prices and more homes for sale for buyers to choose from, although the uncertainty skewed people’s perception.  So now you know why October was such a roller coaster for real estate.

What lies ahead on the horizon as we enter the winter market?  My belief is we will be in our typical winter market.  Homes will come off the market for the holidays.  Motivated, savvy buyers will be out buying homes.  Interest rates will remain in the low 4% range.  Home prices will continue to stabilize throughout the Northern Virginia area.  Houses that are priced right, in the right condition and right location will see multiple offers and our market won’t be as up and down as it was in October.  Basically, we will continue to have a robust housing market locally.

To learn more about your situation, please feel free to call me today. Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway, LLC