Happy New Year! The temperatures in Northern Virginia are frigid, but the real estate market is anything but that. We are seeing activity throughout our area which is great for sellers. We had showings at our listings on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve as well as New Year’s Day – it is crazy! One of our agents had an open house on New Year’s Eve and had 21 visitors…did I mention it is freezing outside? I haven’t seen this much activity around this time of year in my career of 30+ years.
It is looking like 2018 will be a very good year in real estate – especially for sellers. We ended the year with inventory levels nearly 18% below last year which is 24% below the previous year. The lack of inventory is putting many sellers in the driver seat in the real estate market today. Buyers should not be concerned; more houses will be coming on the market as we enter the New Year and early spring market. Additionally, rates remain favorable and should stay within .5% of where they are today for 2018.
More good news – the tax reform that recently passed will not affect most of our area. The mortgage interest deduction (MID) is capped at $750,000 for new mortgages and our average sales price in Northern Virginia is $516,000 – so this won’t hinder those looking to buy from buying. Also, the deductibility of property taxes is capped at $10,000 so again, for the most part, we won’t see buyers shying away.
Lastly, the ability to avoid paying capital gains on your mortgage principal (if it was your principal residence 2 of the last 5 years) remained in place along with the limit of the gains at $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a married couple. This should help us with inventory levels as well! Again, all good things! If you have any questions about your current situation, please feel free to call me.
Have a great 2018 and please stay warm as we battle these icy cold temperatures.
Scott MacDonald 703-652-5777 or firstname.lastname@example.org