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.