Thursday, March 7, 2013

Northern Virginia Foreclosures - a non-effect in early 2013

Just in case you’re wanting to finally get into the real estate market with all the low interest rates and price appreciation you may be hearing about – just wanted to let you know, there are only 9 foreclosures on the market as of today, in the Northern Virginia area.
That includes Arlington county, Alexandria city, and Fairfax County. Yep – just 9 – that’s roughly 0.4% of the available inventory. There are also another 79 short sales (4.9% of the inventory) for those who want to go after that sort of purchase. Distressed properties are no longer a major part of the D.C.-area market.
Sellers are now having an easier time of selling houses in this market. The buyers are squaring off to bid houses up and forego some traditional negotiation strategies to get the home of their choice.
It doesn’t mean buyers can’t get a good house at a good price – it just means you need a good pro on your side to help negotiate the contract and get you in the house.
As you can see on the chart below – there really is not a lot of short sale or foreclosure inventory in Northern Virginia. Those pieces of the pie have generally been eaten and the plate licked clean!

Weichert Realtors, McLean VA

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Home Prices On the Rise

The D.C. housing market has been a shining light in an otherwise tepid economic picture for the region. Home sales prices are set to finish up for 2012 over 2011 — which will be the fourth year in a row that the region has enjoyed value appreciation.
The charts below is for Northern Virginia which had a high average price of more than $525,000 for the summer and finished December out with more than $518,000. (The average home price includes all housing types – condo, townhouse and single-family).
The December price is only 8.1% below the highest December price on record, which was set in 2005. The tortoise-speed appreciation over the years is actually a very healthy road to recovery, rather than the sky-rocketing fashioned appreciation of the mid-2000s.
Most home sellers and buyers have not even noticed the recovery and many buyers are surprised at the level of activity at open houses these days when they visit on a Sunday. (First opens are drawing dozens of visitors these days, instead of the usual trickle in open houses of the past).

Home sellers can be assured of good traffic and a strong sale if their home is priced appropriately. Buyers are continually blessed with excellent mortgage interest rates.
To discuss this in more detail and get area specific information tailored to your search or property please don't hesitate to email or call us at 703-822-5240.

Friday, December 28, 2012

From the headlines - Pending Home Sales on the Rise

"The National Association of Realtors says its pending home sales index, which measures contracts to buy homes, increased last month to its highest level in two and a half years.
It's the latest sign of improvement in the battered housing market.
The NAR said its seasonally adjusted index rose 1.7% in November from October to 106.4. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer tax credit caused a spike in sales. And excluding those months when the tax credit was available, it's the best reading since February 2007."

This news is great for those that are thinking about possibly selling their home in the coming year. As the story goes on to say, with inventory at a 11-year-low in some places and price points, prices are on the rise throughout the country. Locally this is also true with many areas seeing significant price growth over the past year. For buyers this news is further proof that the bottom has come and gone and if you are in the place where you would like to put down some roots now is the time to begin your search.
If you are interested in learning more about how much your home might sell for or beginning the process of looking for a new home we would love the opportunity to talk with you and see how we might be able to best serve you.

For the complete story click here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Market Update - November

The surge in new contract activity last month translated into a rise in sales for November.  Sales are higher than last year, but new contracts are down slightly compared to November 2011. The inventory of homes for sale continues to shrink, and new listings remain at their lowest level in over a decade. The low supply is putting upward pressure on median sales prices around the region and price gains have been most pronounced in the townhome segment, which has led in year-over-year growth for 3 consecutive months. Other key points from November include:

The 3,556 sales in November in the Washington DC Metro Area was a 21.5 percent gain from this time last year, the highest year-over-year jump since May 2010. Sales typically fall between October and November in the region, but the surge in new contracts in October has caused overall sales numbers to rise 8.8 percent from last month. Similar month-over-month gains have occurred in all property segments. Townhomes led in growth, up 31.4 percent from last November. Condos and single-family homes rose 22.0 percent and 16.2 percent respectively. All property segments had their highest November sales in 3 years.

Median sales price continues to climb late in the year and townhomes saw the highest price gains since 2005. At $370,000, the median home price in the DC Metro Area is 10.4 percent higher than this time last year, and the highest November median in 5 years. Falls Church City leads all jurisdictions with a 40.7 percent gain from last November and all other jurisdictions within the DC Metro region experienced median price gains with the exception of Alexandria City, which fell 3.5 percent from this time last year.

The 3,732 new contracts signed in November in the DC Metro region was down 1.3 percent from this time last year and is typical for this time of year as new contract activity typically falls between October and November. The unseasonable rise in new contracts last month could have muted the numbers this month as many buyers may have purchased earlier than planned. It could also be reflective of the low inventory of homes for sale. Buyers have fewer options, so many could be waiting it out.

There were 7,830 active listings in the DC Metro Area at the end of November, 37.8 percent lower than this time last year. The inventory of active listings is now about one third of its peak, which was over 25,000 in the fall of 2007. All property segments continue to see inventory absorption, with active listings down over 40 percent across the board from last November. New listings are following a similar pattern, though the declines are not as dramatic. The low inventory of homes for sale continues to drive down the median days on market, which at 22 days, is half of what it was just a year ago. The average sale-to-list-price ratio also continues to rise, up to 96.6 percent from 93.7 percent last November.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rent On The Rise

When you are deciding whether or not to buy a home, one consideration is the cost of  renting an apartment, townhouse or home. So where are rental prices heading over the next few years?
Rental prices usually increase by about 3 percent annually. Trulia just released their Trulia Rent Monitor where they revealed that rental prices have increased dramatically in the last year.
“Nationally, rent gains continued to outpace home price increases in October, rising by 5.1 percent.”
Based on the concept of supply and demand, many believe rental prices will continue to substantially increase over the next few years. The long-run 30-year average increase in multifamily rental households is 200,000 each year. Over the next few years, those numbers will more than double to over 500,000 each year. Freddie Mac in their latest report, Multifamily Research Perspectives, projects housing demand going forward.
“Given assumptions consistent with economic growth slightly slower than long run averages, multifamily demand is likely to be in the range of 1.7 million net new renter households between now and 2015.”
Looking at the recent statistics prices are on a consistent and steady rise in the Washington metro area and now could be the perfect time to lock in your long term housing expense by buying your own home. If you have more questions don't hesitate to call or email us to talk more in depth about renting vs buying.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From the headlines....

Two recent stories from USA Today caught our attention regarding the housing industry - both locally and on a national level.

Mortgage rates hit new record low:

Housing starts rise to four year high for October:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Market Update - October

Demand has picked back up in the Washington DC metro housing market in October following a typical September slow down.  Sales, new pending contracts, and median price gains are all above their 10-year average change from last month, an indication that buyers are still active in the market.  All market indicators are above last years levels, and many are at multi-year October highs. 
The inventory of homes for sale continues to fall, which is playing a role in the price gains.  Active listings are nearly half of their level 2 years ago, and new listings for October are at their lowest point in over a decade. 

Demand appears to be persisting across all property segments with the highest October sales in 3 years. There were 3,269 sales in October in the Washington DC Metro Area, a 16.1 percent jump from last October.  Sales are steady from last month, up a modest 0.4 percent, which indicates demand could be enduring into the historically slow fall season.  The 10-year average change in sales from September to October last month is -3.8 percent.

Median price gains continue for most of the region with the highest year-over-year increase for the DC Metro Area in nearly 7 years.  At $362,500, the median home price in the DC Metro Area is 13.3 percent higher than in October 2011.  This represents the highest year-over-year increase for any month since December 2005.  The low inventory of homes for sale coupled with steady demand continues to push prices upward relative to last year.  Prince George’s County leads the way with 20.0 percent growth, an increase of $30,000 to the median price from this time last year.  All other jurisdictions within the DC Metro region experienced median price gains with the exception of Falls Church City, however medians there tend to be volatile due to the low quantity of homes sold. 

New contracts are at the highest October level in seven years as townhomes lead the growth.  There were 4,459 new contracts signed in October in the region, up 5.8 percent from this time last year, and the highest October total in 7 years. Townhomes led all property segments in new contract growth for the first time in over a year, up 11.4 percent from October 2011, followed by condos, which rose 8.9 percent. 

Active listings are roughly half of what they were in October 2010 and new listings for October are the lowest in over a decade.  There were 8,766 active listings in the Washington DC Metro Area at the end of October, 37.2 percent lower than this time last year. This is the first time the number of active listings has dropped below 9,000 since July 2005.  October active listings in the region are nearly half of what they were 2 years ago, indicating dramatic property absorption in the market.  All property segments experienced year-over-year inventory reductions exceeding 40 percent.  The 4,588 new listings in the region are the lowest October-level since 1999, an indication of a persisting pattern of low supply.  The low inventory of homes for sale is having a direct impact on the median days-on-market, which was 23 days in October, down 21 days from this time last year.  Impacts can also be observed with the sale-to-list price ratio, which rose from 93.4 percent in October 2011 to 96.0 percent this month for the metro area.