Friday, June 27, 2008

Northern Virginia Turn Around Full Throttle!

Wow! I’ve never seen this kind of turnaround happen so quickly. In just a few months, we have gone from negative numbers in every category to double and triple positives all around Northern Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.). Here’s what’s happening:

The foreclosure market has created a feeding frenzy for properties priced under $500,000. Nearly 36% of all homes on the market under $500K are foreclosure homes. Only 6% of listings over $500K have that distinction. Thus, prices have reached a psychological barrier point, which has brought out buyers in the thousands around the Capital area. (Stats available at, click Market News.

The buyers are competing again for properties priced right and in good condition. It is not unusual with the foreclosure market to see 10 or 20 contracts competing. Many of the foreclosures need only cosmetic fixes and some have upgraded kitchens, baths and flooring. More are coming in the next month.

There are plenty of fixer uppers available for those willing to apply “sweat equity” to build wealth.

Prince William County is the county of affordable housing once again. I’m seeing more and more first time buyers back in the market, purchasing single-family homes starting in the $100,000’s. (These homes are also enticing for investors!)

Prices are now holding. If you are buying, more than likely you’ll be paying closer to asking price now than was possible just a few months ago. Buyers on average are paying 97% of list price.

So what? What does that mean to you? If you purchased your home in 2005 or earlier, then now is the time for your move up. Real estate is local and all the signs are lining up: shrinking inventory, increasing demand, holding prices, lower interest rates. Move up into that larger home (or your first home!) before the prices or interest rates make it out of reach!

Until next month…

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's a REAL Spring Market - Northern Virginia Real Estate

Days on market have dropped. My team members and I are hitting up against multiple offers on listings. Listings in the office are selling. Traffic at open houses are up by 40% in some communities. And the number of contracts written in our market are outpacing last year’s levels. What’s more important to home owners, we are seeing pocket markets that are starting to appreciate.

When looking at the last two springs, this spring market has really taken off. The market has turned around and it starts in the Capital city of Washington, D.C. and is moving out from there (as it has year after year). What’s more important is that the latest financing regulation changes have included the Washington, D.C. as a high-priced region. This means that conforming loan limits around your home will be at the highest level possible -- $729,750. Before this latest move, loan limits for conforming loans were at $417,000.

So what? What does that mean to you? If you’re looking to sell, it now means more buyers may have been brought into the level it would take to purchase it. In addition, it means better loan programs with lower interest rates – in essence, money just got cheaper.