Best Sledding Hills in Northern Virginia

Does the anticipated first snow of 2021 in NOVA this weekend have you dusting off your sleds and stocking up on hot chocolate?  Wondering where the best hills are?  We’ve put together a list of some great spots in Northern Virginia to hit with the kids. 

Westgate Park, 7500 Magarity Rd, McLean:  did you know that behind the second baseball field at the Park is a great sledding hill?!

“Mount Reston”, 1625 Wiehle Ave, Reston:  called “Mount Reston” by locals and located behind the Unitarian Church on Wiehle Ave.

Greenway Heights Park, 8203 Riding Ridge Place, Great Falls

The “Big Hill” at Wolf Trap National Park: in the front by the box office.

Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike, Annandale: this one was chosen by Fairfax County Park Authority as “one of the best places in Fairfax County to go sledding”!  It’s at the end of Meadow Trail.

Cardinal Forest Park, 6121 Roxbury Ave, Springfield: along the sewer easement, between Carleigh Parkway and Roxbury Avenue…typically a quiet park until the snow falls!

Lake Fairfax Park, 400 Lake Fairfax Dr, Reston: another hidden gem…a short but steep hill behind the picnic area restrooms!

Jefferson Manor Park, 2909 Farmington Dr, Alexandria: located off Telegraph Road…the hill at the shelter.

Do you have a favorite hill?  Are there others you would recommend?  Let us know! We all could use some fresh air and outdoor activity so get out there and have some fun!  (Remember to be safe and follow the rules of the parks.) 

(And PS – If you start going stir crazy – this is a GREAT time to search for a new home on our state-of-the-art web site or get a FREE online INSTANT estimate of your home’s value.)

Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House

The housing market made an incredible recovery in 2020 and is now positioned for an even stronger year in 2021. Record-low mortgage interest rates are a driving factor in this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at historic all-time lows.

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. That’s not the case, however, on the supply side. Seller traffic is simply not keeping up. Here’s a breakdown by state:

Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House | MyKCM

As the maps show, buyer traffic is high, but seller traffic is low. With so few homes for sale right now, record-low inventory is creating a mismatch between supply and demand.

NAR also just reported that the actual number of homes currently for sale stands at 1.28 million, down 22% from one year ago (1.64 million). Additionally, inventory is at an all-time low with 2.3 months supply available at the current sales pace. In a normal market, that number would be 6.0 months of inventory – significantly higher than it is today.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Buyers need to remain patient in the search process. At the same time, they must be ready to act immediately once they find the right home since bidding wars are more common when so few houses are available for sale.

Sellers may not want to wait until spring to put their houses on the market, though. With such high buyer demand and such a low supply, now is the perfect time to sell a house on optimal terms.

Bottom Line

The real estate market is entering the year like a lion. There’s no indication it will lose that roar, assuming inventory continues to come to market.

Reach out to The Belt Team for a free market report for your area and strategy for listing your home. (703) 242-3975 | info@thebeltteam.com | Contact Us

What Does 2021 Have in Store for Home Values?

According to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Insights Report, nationwide home values increased by 8.2% over the last twelve months. The dramatic rise was brought about as the inventory of homes for sale reached historic lows at the same time buyer demand was buoyed by record-low mortgage rates. As CoreLogic explained:

“Home price growth remained consistently elevated throughout 2020. Home sales for the year are expected to register above 2019 levels. Meanwhile, the availability of for-sale homes has dwindled as demand increased and coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks continued across the country, which delayed some sellers from putting their homes on the market.

While the pandemic left many in positions of financial insecurity, those who maintained employment and income stability are also incentivized to buy given the record-low mortgage rates available; this is increasing buyer demand while for-sale inventory is in short supply.”

Where will home values go in 2021?

Home price appreciation in 2021 will continue to be determined by this imbalance of supply and demand. If supply remains low and demand is high, prices will continue to increase.

Housing Supply

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the current number of single-family homes for sale is 1,080,000. At the same time last year, that number stood at 1,450,000. We are entering 2021 with approximately 370,000 fewer homes for sale than there were one year ago.

However, there is some speculation that the inventory crush will ease somewhat as we move through the new year for two reasons:

1. As the health crisis eases, more homeowners will be comfortable putting their houses on the market.

2. Some households impacted financially by the pandemic will be forced to sell.

Housing Demand

Low mortgage rates have driven buyer demand over the last twelve months. According to Freddie Mac, rates stood at 3.72% at the beginning of 2020. Today, we’re starting 2021 with rates one full percentage point lower than that. Low rates create a great opportunity for homebuyers, which is one reason why demand is expected to remain high throughout the new year.

What Does 2021 Have in Store for Home Values? | MyKCM

Taking into consideration these projections on housing supply and demand, real estate analysts forecast homes will continue to appreciate in 2021, but that appreciation may be at a steadier pace than last year. Here are their forecasts:

Bottom Line

There’s still a very limited number of homes for sale for the great number of purchasers looking to buy them. As a result, the concept of “supply and demand” mandates that home values in the country will continue to appreciate.

Want to talk more about your housing situation and if it’s a good time to buy or sell? Reach out to The Belt Team…we’d love to help! 703-242-3975 | info@thebeltteam.com | www.TheBeltTeam.com

Home Sale Statistics in Northern Virginia – December 2020

December real estate sales finished with a flurry of activity as buyers continued to be active pushing sales 40% higher in Northern Virginia than the same time last year. The area wide supply of homes is less than one month. The 2021 market has begun in earnest and is predicted to mirror 2020 with optimism that more homes will come to market as sellers are more at ease.

Northern Virginia December 2020 home sales:

2,532 homes went under contract in the region. This is up 40% from the same time period in 2019.

57% of the homes that went to settlement in December 2020, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market. 

• Average sold price was $606,118 (up 7% from the same time period in 2019).

2,412 homes came on the market. That’s up 44% from December 2019.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 20 days on market, 10 days faster than in December of 2019.

• There is currently a 0.7 month supply of homes (remember, in a balanced market – the demand from buyers equals the supply from sellers – there is a 5-6 months supply) in the Northern Virginia – and 2,320 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

Additional Year-End Stats – 2019 vs 2020:

Average sold price increased by 9% ($549,800 vs $599,100)

Total units sold increased by 7%

Average sales price to original list price ratio increased – 98.9% vs 99.9%

OVERALL: Northern Virginia remained very much a Seller’s Market. Although down from November, market activity and prices in the region continued to be up year-over-year.  Low inventory remained to be a very big issue.  Looking at the year-end stats, 2020 saw an increase in sales and sales prices compared to 2019.

To see what the conditions are like in your community, click on the link to your desired city below! 

Vienna: December 2020 Home Sales

Oakton: December 2020 Home Sales 

McLean: December 2020 Home Sales 

Great Falls: December 2020 Home Sales 

Reston: December 2020 Home Sales 

Falls Church: December 2020 Home Sales 

Arlington: December 2020 Home Sales 

Alexandria: December 2020 Home Sales  

*Data compiled from SmartCharts, MarketStats by ShowingTime, whose data comes directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Why Not to Wait Until Spring to Make a Move

The housing market recovery coming into the new year has been nothing short of remarkable. Many experts agree the turnaround from the nation’s economic pause is playing out extremely well for real estate, and the current market conditions are truly making this winter an ideal time to make a move. Here’s a dive into some of the biggest wins for homebuyers (and sellers) this season.

1. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low

In 2020, mortgage rates hit all-time lows 16 times. Continued low rates have set buyers up for significant long-term gains. In fact, realtor.com notes:

“Given this means homes could cost potentially tens of thousands less over the lifetime of the loan.”

Essentially, it’s less expensive to borrow money for a home loan today than it has been in years past. Although mortgage rates are expected to remain relatively low in 2021, even the slightest increase can make a big difference in your payments over the lifetime of a home loan. So, this is a huge opportunity to capitalize on right now before mortgage rates start to rise.

2. Equity Is Growing

According to John Burns Consulting, 58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity, and 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear.

In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity homeowners gained since last year is $17,000. That’s a tremendous amount of forced savings for homeowners, and an opportunity to use this increasing equity to make a move into a home that fits your changing needs this season.

3. Home Prices Are Appreciating

According to leading experts, home prices are forecasted to continue appreciating. Today, many experts are projecting more moderate home price growth than last year, but still moving in an upward direction through 2021.

Knowing home values are increasing while mortgage rates are so low should help you feel confident that buying a home before prices rise even higher is a strong long-term investment.

4. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale

With today’s low inventory of homes on the market, which is contributing to this home price appreciation, sellers are in the driver’s seat. The competition is high among buyers, so homes are selling quickly.

Making a move while so many buyers are looking for homes to purchase may mean your house rises to the top of the buyer pool. Selling your house before more listings come to the market in the traditionally busy spring market might be your best chance to shine.

Bottom Line

If you’re considering making a move, this may be your moment, especially with today’s low mortgage rates and limited inventory. Let’s connect to get you set up for homebuying success in the new year. Thinking of selling? Now is the time! Let our 50+ years of experience work for you to make your real estate dreams come true! 703-242-3975 | info@thebeltteam.com

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