December 2020 Market Update

As we close out 2020…

A lot has transpired since the last newsletter… a presidential election, Covid-19 outbreaks resulting in additional shutdowns, local jurisdictions reverting back to more restrictions on public gatherings, regional school districts canceling or staggering the return to the classroom, and of course, Thanksgiving. Luckily, we had great weather on Thanksgiving and could eat outside with our “at-risk” family members and maintain social distancing with them throughout the day.

Interest rates remain low on the real estate front; fewer people are re-engaging in forbearance on their mortgages, and houses are still selling – often with multiple offers. All in all, it’s a great market not only in Northern Virginia but around the country. 

As we enter the holiday season, inventory levels remain low, making it difficult for buyers looking to take advantage of great rates. We are only 9% below last year’s level of homes for sale during this same week in time. As I look back, this was the beginning of the inventory shortage in our area. It will be interesting to see if we match our low from this past January when we had just over 1,800 houses for sale. If you are considering relocating, downsizing, or upsizing, call me to see how we can help you get into a home. We have strategies for every market to help people become homeowners.

So, the question I am often asked this time of year is, should we sell our house or wait until the spring. My answer is – it depends. Do you need to sell, or do you want to sell? If you sell, where will you go? If you have to sell and have the next home secured or have living arrangements lined up, sell today. If you are looking to sell to take advantage of the market, we need to talk sooner rather than later. As I previously mentioned, rates are great, purchasers are out in the market looking to buy, we know what other houses are for sale right now versus the springtime, and we know what price we can get for it based upon recent sales. Also, in all likelihood, if the house is in great shape, is in an ideal location, and is priced right, it will sell quickly with little inconvenience to the seller. If you find yourself in this situation, please call me to discuss your situation in more detail.

Until next year, be safe, make wise decisions when going out in public so you remain healthy so you can celebrate the holidays with your loved ones.

Prince William Listing Exchange

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Jason Smith’s comments:

Inventory levels up slightly but everything else is staying steady so the market is going strong!  We are just under a 2 month supply of houses in

Prince William County.  The active inventory has 36% of the market as distressed sales.  Nationally, inventory levels are up 7.6% in July – here we are down – houses continue to sell which is great news for us.  There was a home with 20 contracts on it in Piedmont priced under $350,000.  It is still a very competitive environment for us in the first time buyer price range.  New construction activity is up as well and KB Homes is coming back to our area – stay tuned on where as we haven’t heard yet.

Loan modifications aren’t working with a majority of the lenders – anywhere.  The push to modify from the government hasn’t yielded results from what we’ve heard. 

There are very few FSBO’s on the market as well.  Auction activity only showed 3 houses on the “block” in October – other auctions previously featured 100’s of houses…the tide is changing – inventory is getting absorbed prior to auction.

Scott’s comments:

Career Night, September 24th: Bring an agent and get into a drawing for a designation and your guest agent gets thrown into a separate drawing for a designation at the end of the night. We’d love for you to invite those agents that would be a great fit for our company.

Business planning retreat…Pat Cunningham is one of our wonderful sponsors. Friday starts with golf, spa, cocktail party, and business planning starts on Saturday. It’s going to be a different format this year  with tons of interaction to help jump start your 2010!  The location is easy to get to and it’s a beautiful resort – the Hyatt in Cambridge  be sure to sign up today.

In today’s Market Watch, our monthly market update you will see that there is not much to talk about this month. For the first time in a long time, there is nothing earth shattering. It’s been relatively quiet.  There is nothing new that we need to be concerned about – yet.  There is a lot coming down the pike so stay tuned.  So what’s next?  Is the loan limit going to stay $729,750 or is going to be cut back to revert back to $629,650. Is the first time buyer tax credit going to be extended or will it go away?   When are rates going to go up and how high? When is the government going to dismiss the FED’s advice to continue to purchase mortgage backed securities.   If inventory levels go up by a thousand houses – BOA foreclosures in

Northern Virginia – it’s not going to affect the market too drastically.

Right now we are at May of 2005 inventory levels.  We need more homes to sell!

Pat Cunningham agrees that there is not much has been going on the mortgage front.   Rates are awesome – ARM’s are coming more into favor because of better education and lower start rates.

A year ago I remember the mid September of last year and we were literally in a financial firestorm and one of the things I was thinking then is about the fact that that Fannie & Freddie were going out of the business and lending institution having a hard time making loan and wondering if there will there be a credit freeze.

Let’s fast forward to today, its business as usual. We’ve gotten out of the toughest financial market of our time.  Interest rates are at historic lows.  PMI may require anti-flipping rules to be enforced and will be scrutinized heavily on 91-120 days be on the lookout for changes in this arena.

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