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I like it when folks say – I’m going to buy or sell this spring (meaning, after the Spring solstice has hit). Well – the spring market has already arrived in the DC Metro area (and with what I’m hearing – around the country).

January sales blasted off in the Northern Virginia. I could go on and on, but just take a look at this link with a info graphic that paints a thousand words.2017_january_ms

There’s a bit of a “slow down” in the D.C. market, but our “slow” is most of the country’s full steam ahead! We have about a 3 months supply, which is barely a “normal” market. Anything under 3 months is a sellers market (which is where the city of Washington DC has found itself all year long!)

Take a look at these stats at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

Time to go shoppin’! Buyers market in various areas of Northern Virginia – take advantage of the interest rates!

Let’s go House Shopping.

Looking into my crystal ball this year (okay – local economic data), I see that buyers and sellers are going to be coming from all areas of the buying spectrum. For years, Baby Boomers were the age group to watch – now, as Millennials and Gen-Xers get into the game (these are the children and grandkids of the Boomers), it’s going to be interesting to see how 2015 heats up. George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) put together some information on how they will affect the market this year.


Economists from CRA point out the first time buyers are now coming from kids of the Millennial generation (born between the early 1980s and 2000). In 2015, adults born in 1980 are turning 25 – a good ripe age to purchase a first home.  Time is the key point for Millennial purchasers as they approach their first home purchase. During the next few years, time will provide them income growth and marriage, which usually pushes them into the first-home market (sometimes with a baby carriage). Watch them to take advantage of first-time buyer programs (3% down payment) now being offered from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Generation X

These buyers and sellers born between 1969 and 1980 (depending on who you talk to), will be moving based on contingencies – contingent on interest rates (which today stand below 4%) and equity growth in their home they bought in the last decade. They are also more likely to purchase new construction, according to the CRA report.

Baby Boomers

We’ll be seeing a larger wave of retirees coming out of the Baby Boomer group and while many of them are in the suburbs, believe it or not, they’re intending on staying in the D.C. area and some will continue to stay in their current homes. Meanwhile others will look to scaling down to condos and over-55 housing.

Key Market Takeaways

  • Look for a continued tight market. Even though inventory will increase seasonally, there’s still a shortage of homes on the market. First-time buyers will be a key driver.
  • Growing demand for single-family homes, but we’ll see smaller homes, lower price points
  • The suburbs are not dead and, in fact, are poised for a rebirth.
  • While demand will be there in 2015, supply won’t catch up until 2016.

Looking to buy, sell or invest? Give me a call today to get started.

Until next time…

I regularly get asked, “How’s the market?” From a Realtor’s point of view, it’s ALWAYS a good market! It just depends on what YOU want to do – buy, sell or invest? In today’s market, it’s actually good for all three classes of clients. Sellers are benefiting from increased home prices; buyers are enjoying some of the lowest interest rates on record and a strong housing inventory; and for investors, if you’re getting a mortgage, interest rates are low enough that the payments can be covered by your rental income in most cases.
Let me break it down:


Currently, the Northern Virginia market is at about a 3 months’ supply. Traditionally, three months constitutes a “normal” market. Normal is good for buyers because it allows them an ample amount of inventory to look over and then the ability to negotiate on price and terms. For the past several years, buyers in the D.C. metro market have been battling each other with escalation clauses and giving up home inspections to win contracts. Now, there is calm in the market which allows buyers to get a more level playing field. Meanwhile, interest rates are under 4% again!


Prices have continued their appreciation this year in most zip codes. In October, median home prices increased beyond last year’s prices in Fairfax County by 2.3% (+$10,000). The median price for October stood at $450,000 (for all property types). In Arlington, the median price increased 1.6% to $536,000. In Washington D.C., median sales prices moved up 9.9% to $500,000.


It’s all about cash flow for investors. And in today’s market with the low interest rates, investors are able to purchase a condo, and including condo fee and taxes, still walk away with a cash flow (disclaimer: it has to be the right price and the right condo fee – call to start your search). If you’re able to strike out the high condo fees, the return on investment is even more attractive.

An interesting factor that plays in the D.C. area market is politics and mid-term elections, which have historically placed a temporary damper on the market. This year was no exception. In the two weeks running up to the election pending sales dropped 22% compared to the same two week period last year (a non-election year). In the third week, once all the votes were counted, contract writing increased 6.3% over the same period of time last year. (Source: data from
The market is in good shape for nearly every type of buyer and seller. Until next time… I’m never too busy for YOUR referrals!

Until next time…

When it comes to the question – “How’s the real estate Market?” I always point to the job market first. After all, “Homes are where the jobs go at night.” And in the Washington, D.C. area, local economist say we’re headed toward a boon of a jobs market in the coming years. 

More than 200,000 jobs on the way

The George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis runs the numbers on job growth and D.C. is growing at a rate ahead of the need for housing. In the next 5 years, there will be more than 295,000 net new jobs in Northern Virginia, D.C. and suburban Maryland. Northern Virginia will garner the most of those with about 100,000 net new jobs in just the coming three years.

Another interesting part about this job growth is that the federal government is slipping from being the front runner employer. Private industry is slowly but surely taking the front spot.

So what will that do to the housing market? Well, we aren’t growing the housing pool that fast, meaning the pressure on the inventory will most likely push price appreciation even more than what we’ve seen this last year.

Want the deeper data? Visit this link for a presentation by CRA Chief Economist Stephen Fuller on what to expect. 

S&P/Case Shiller announced that national home prices have jumped 13.3% in October 2013 – the highest jump since 2006. This Reuters news video talks about an increase in permits, prices and builder plans to continue the growth in 2014. (See a quick news clip here about the gain.)

In Northern Virginia and the surrounding Washington, D.C. market, the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc., reports average home prices have been on the rise since 2009. In October prices over 2012 levels increased:

  • Fairfax County: +10.13%
  • City of Alexandria: +2.93%
  • Arlington County: +10.14%
  • Washington D.C.: +4%

Signs of continued housing growth in 2013


For more data and charts on the Washington, D.C. market, visit or catch it on Facebook at (Don’t forget to “like” the page!)


In the D.C. area, where the majority of federal workers that were furloughed live, you would think buyers of real estate would have taken a break from house searches until the area’s largest employer got back to work. But the numbers tell a different story. 

Looking over the pending sales (contracts written), buyers kept competing on the low inventory of homes during the shut down. Measuring the contract writing from October 1 – 15, 2013 showed that overall, buyers wrote 19.5% more contracts than the same time last year.

Shut Down Chart

Contracts in Northern Virginia as a whole were flat with an increase of 1.1%, but the other areas surrounding surged ahead.

Prince George’s County, MD saw the largest increase with 39% (PG Co., was also the hardest hit after the housing bubble popped). Montgomery County was up 36%; while D.C. came in at 23% above the same period last year.





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