I still find it hard to believe that I am getting calls from potential buyers & sellers that go like this:
- Seller: “We’re thinking about putting our house on the market, but are worried it won’t sell. How bad is the market really?”
- Buyer: “We saw a house come on the market last week in Vienna listed at $725,000. We love it. We’re thinking of offering $600,000 since the market is so bad.”
In both of these cases, the person assumes we are in a “Buyer’s Market” and that the Buyer has all the leverage in the situation. But that is truly NOT the case in our market – nor in many markets around the country.
Here’s a snapshot of what is happening around the U.S. :
Note how many states are in either blue (Seller’s Market) or grey (Balanced Market). Overall, the states that were “first in” to the housing crisis (like California) – seem to be “first out” and have moved from Buyer’s Markets through Balanced Markets to Seller’s Markets.
The irony is that we have been posting statistics weekly for Vienna and Oakton for more than 2 years and throughout all of that time – our markets have either been Balanced or Sellers’ Markets. Throughout 2012 – UNTIL THIS WEEK – Vienna’s housing supply has been less than 3 months. This indicates we have been in a Seller’s Market.
This week, for the first time in 2012, Vienna shows 2.8-3.3 months supply and that means we have moved back into a Balanced (or as I like to call it “Healthy”) Market. Oakton has fluctuated back & forth in 2012 – with about an equal number of weeks in a Balanced market as a Seller’s Market. But current housing supply of 3.0 to 4.8 months puts us squarely in a Balanced Market. (Stay tuned if you’re watching Oakton stats – this is a big jump in a short time. We would not be surprised if Oakton moves into a Buyer’s Market soon.)
What does that mean? It’s a great time to buy AND sell!
BUYERS – Prices in our area are rising. The longer you wait to buy, the higher the prices are going. And interest rates are SUPER attractive right now. Who knows what will happen post-election? Every incremental increase in interest rates has an immense impact on what you qualify for & can afford. Our advice is to buy now.
SELLERS – Homes are selling. Buyers are in the market. And in a Balanced Market, you are on equal footing with Buyers – much better than 4 or 5 years ago when Buyers drove the bus! If you’re moving up – now is an especially good time to sell. Not only can you get your home sold fairly quickly, you can buy your next home before prices continue to rise. Don’t get caught waiting for prices to rise on the sale of your home, only to find that the price rise on the home you want to buy has put you out of the market. (For example – if you wait for prices to rise 10% on your $500,000 home – you’ll net $50,000 extra. But if you’re moving to a $750,000 home, then you’ve actually lost $25,000 because your new home will cost an additional $75,000 if prices rise 10%.
The bottom line is that if you are buying or selling a home, make sure that your Realtor provides you with DETAILED statistics about YOUR market – not just generalities. It’s in YOUR best interests to make an educated move!
Last week in Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):
- Number of Contracts: 15
- Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 116 days
- Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 72 days
- Inventory: 191 homes on the market
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.8 months
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 3.3 months
Last week in Oakton Real Estate (22124):
- Number of Contracts: 2
- Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 94 days
- Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 127
- Inventory: 77 homes on the market
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 3.0 months
- Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 4.8 months
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, watch this video and Contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975.