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The final sign that you’re in a really hot market is how the top end fares. And the top end in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax is faring very well. 

Would you believe we have less than a months’ supply for homes in the $700,000-$800,000 range (0.99 months’ supply)? That means if no more homes come on the market and buyers keep snatching up houses at that rate, all the houses in that price range could be sold in less than 30 days.

It’s a telling story across the board if you look at the table below. Luxury homes are selling at just as fast a rate as their lower-priced counterparts.

Lots more is going on in today’s D.C. area market.  Weichert Realtors in McLean, Virginia is offering a Market Update Seminar, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. Call (703) 821-2300 for more information. We’re located at 6257 Old Dominion Drive, McLean VA. See you there!

Luxury homes are also in a tight market

The real estate market has become the “little engine that could” in the latest rise in economic news. Meanwhile, both JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America have nearly doubled their forecasts in home value appreciation for 2013, according to http://www.NationalMortgageNews.com.

JP Morgan rose its estimate from 7% increase to a 14% increase on national averages. Bank of America tweaked its estimate from 4.7% to 8%.

If their forecasts come to fruition (and I don’t see why it won’t) the economy should steam forward quarter after quarter. Here’s why.

Unlike many other industries, real estate construction and sales create a huge domino effect. Think about the last time you bought a house (or even rented one). What happened to make that transaction occur?

Builders purchased building supplies: lumber, nails, screws, glue, roofing tiles, windows, insulation, plumbing, electrical wiring, you name it. Then they purchased decor for the interior — flooring (carpet, hardwood, synthetic), paint, light fixtures, granite counters, upgraded faucets, even more.

Then, they bought stuff like appliances, air conditioners, furnaces, turf, plants, and on and on it goes. Not only do builders purchase these items, new homeowners do to. When you bought your last house, I’m sure you got busy decorating the house and making it your own.

When real estate gets going, the country gets going – from manufacturing to finance to Wall Street.

So – what’s happening to pricing in Northern Virginia? Year to date (2013) home prices are up across the board.

Single Family: $688, 616 (+8.5%)
Townhomes: $423,780 (+7.4%)
Condos: $308,682 (+9.8%)

If you’re looking to take advantage of today’s market in Virginia/Maryland/DC – give Weichert Realtors/McLean a call at (703) 821-8300.

The Northern Virginia area includes Arlington and Fairfax counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax.

http://wp.me/pB0Rb-9I

NVAAvg Prices YTD

The Northern Virginia/MD/DC housing market is tightening up even more as the first month of 2013 wrapped up. The absorption rate for the whole metropolitan area (DC, Northern Virginia and Suburban MD) is at a 1.40 months’ supply – meaning that if no more listings come on board, then current inventory could be absorbed in about 6 weeks. Pretty tight.

Thus, as the market tightens, prices move up as demonstrated in the slides before. 

Pocket markets are tighter, some a little loose, but we are starting to see scores of visitors to open houses and even waiting in line just to get in as well as multiple offers and above priced contracts. The key to all of this is the job growth in the area – which is headed to more than 280K in the next 5 years, according to the Center for Regional Analysis of George Mason University (http://cra.gmu.edu). 

Sellers – now’s the time! Buyers – get on board before interest rates start moving up!

Looking for some sensible guidance? Call the Weichert/McLean VA office for information on the Virginia/MD/DC market (we’re equipped for all three jurisdictions) at (703) 821-8300.

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One of the best ways to see how a market is going to perform in the future is to look at the building permits applied for by builders. The Metro Washington, D.C. area is moving up with strength.

Permit applications are up 18 percent across the board for single-family, multi-family and total permits, at 22,350 for 2012, according to http://www.HousingEconomics.com, a web site operated by the National Association of Home Builders (http://www.NAHB.org). 

And if anyone was wondering what 2013 will be like in real estate nationally, just look at the numbers – building permits for single family dwellings are up 24% and multi-family building permits are up a whopping 53%. The total number of permits issued topped out at more than 815,

000 (beating out 2011 by nearly 200,000 applications).

For all you data-hounds – here’s the excel spreadsheet link from HousingEconomics.com at this link

 

The Spring season has started! Following the 2009/2010 blizzards that hit the Mid-Atlantic region, buyers have come out with a vengeance. We’ve been processing a contract or listing a day in the office and there are no signs of stopping. As I reported last month, prices across the Northern Virginia (D.C. suburb) area have turned around. For December, the average sales price jumped 12 percent compared to December 2008.

Now, buyers and sellers alike are focusing on the Expanded Home Buyer Tax Credit passed by Congress Nov. 6, 2009. The expanded CREDIT (not deduction!) provides cash benefits to first-time buyers and to homeowners who are purchasing a second primary home.

First-time buyers are classified as purchasers who have not owned a home in the last three years; repeat buyers are those who have owned within three years or currently own a home and are moving into another home that will be their primary residence. For doing this, either person, if they qualify, can apply for tax credits (up to $6,500 for repeat buyers; $8,000 for first-time buyers).

These tax credits mean cash in the buyer’s pocket. The credit is applied to your tax bill as if you had actually paid it to Uncle Sam. Then it either comes back to you with a lower tax bill for the tax credit amount, or in the form of a check from the U.S. Treasury. The reason for these generous credits is that the federal government figures most home buyers will spend the money on the house – paint, carpet, windows, doors, appliances – thus creating product demand, and thus creating jobs.

The market is lining up to be a perfect storm for buyers and sellers in Northern Virginia:

  • price appreciation (the bottom of the market is passed);
  • historically low interest rates (in the 5% range);
  • tax credits to help fix up your home (up to $8,000).

So What? What does that mean to you? Here’s the catch – you must have a ratified contract by April 30, 2010 and settle on your new home by June 30, 2010. If you’ve been looking to buy a home before prices escalate, with cheap money and get back money from Uncle Sam – now is the time.

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