Think Twice Before Waiting for 3% Mortgage Rates

Last year, the Federal Reserve took action to try to bring down inflation. In response to those efforts, mortgage rates jumped up rapidly from the record lows we saw in 2021, peaking at just over 7% last October. Hopeful buyers experienced a hit to their purchasing power as a result, and some decided to press pause on their plans.

Today, the rate of inflation is starting to drop. And as a result, mortgage rates have dipped below last year’s peak. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macshares:

“While mortgage market activity has significantly shrunk over the last year, inflationary pressures are easing and should lead to lower mortgage rates in 2023.”

That’s potentially great news if you’re a buyer aiming to jump back into the housing market. Any drop in mortgage rates helps boost your purchasing power by bringing down your expected monthly mortgage payment. This means the lower mortgage rates experts forecast this year could be just what you need to reignite your homebuying goals.

While this opens up a window of opportunity for you, remember: you shouldn’t expect rates to drop back down to record lows like we saw in 2021. Experts agree that’s not the range buyers should bank on. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains:

“I think we could be surprised at how much mortgage rates pull back this year. But we’re not going back to 3 percent anytime soon, because inflation is not going back to 2 percent anytime soon.

It’s important to have a realistic vision for what you can expect this year, and that’s where the advice of expert real estate advisors is critical. You may be surprised by the impact even a mild drop in mortgage rates has on your budget. If you’re ready to buy a home now, today’s market presents the opportunity to get a more affordable mortgage rate, find your dream home, and face less competition from other buyers.

Bottom Line

The recent pullback in mortgage rates is great news – but if you’re ready to buy now, holding out for 3% is a mistake. Work with a local lender to learn how today’s rates impact your goals, and contact The Belt Team to explore your options in our area.

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us

Home Sale Statistics in Northern Virginia – December/Q4 2022

The year ended seasonally strong and remains a seller’s market, though not nearly as extreme as a year ago. Inventory remains a challenge and despite higher interest rates compared to last year, demand remains very healthy. 

See all of the market statistics below for Northern Virginia for December 2022, as well as some year-over-year numbers.  Then use the links at the bottom of the page to see how your specific community ended the year!

Northern Virginia December/Q4 2022 home sales:

1,433 homes went under contract in the region. This is down 33% from the same time period in 2021.

32% of the homes that went to settlement in December 2022, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.

• Average sold price was $654,685 (up 0.6% from the same time period in 2021).

1,302 homes came on the market. That’s down 34% from December 2021.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 31 days on market, 7 days slower than in December of 2021.

• There is currently a 0.8 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 2,265 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

Additional Year-End Stats – 2022 vs 2021:

Average sold price increased by 7.9% ($706,568 vs $654,753)

Total units sold decreased by 25%

Average sales price to original list price ratio decreased slightly – 100.8% vs 101.1%

OVERALL: Northern Virginia remained in a Seller’s Market. Inventory decreased again from the prior month but was up 48% year-over-year.  The number of homes going under contract and coming on the market also declined, and both of these numbers continue to be down significantly from this time last year.  Average sold price was down from November but up just slightly compared to the end of December last year.

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

Vienna: December 2022 Home Sales

Oakton: December 2022 Home Sales 

McLean: December 2022 Home Sales 

Great Falls: December 2022 Home Sales 

Reston: December 2022 Home Sales 

Falls Church: December 2022 Home Sales 

Arlington: December 2022 Home Sales

Alexandria: December 2022 Home Sales  

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

If you are thinking of buying or selling, please reach out to The Belt Team and let us help you navigate this unprecedented market.

(703) 242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | or fill out our Contact Us form

What To Expect From the Housing Market in 2023

The 2022 housing market has been defined by two key things: inflation and rapidly rising mortgage rates. And in many ways, it’s put the market into a reset position.

As the Federal Reserve (the Fed) made moves this year to try to lower inflation, mortgage rates more than doubled – something that’s never happened before in a calendar year. This had a cascading impact on buyer activity, the balance between supply and demand, and ultimately home prices. And as all those things changed, some buyers and sellers put their plans on hold and decided to wait until the market felt a bit more predictable.

But what does that mean for next year? What everyone really wants is more stability in the market in 2023. For that to happen we’ll need to see the Fed bring inflation down even more and keep it there. Here’s what housing market experts say we can expect next year.

What’s Ahead for Mortgage Rates in 2023?

Moving forward, experts agree it’s still going to be all about inflation. If inflation is high, mortgage rates will be as well. But if inflation continues to fall, mortgage rates will likely respond. While there may be early signs inflation is easing as we round out this year, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Inflation is still something to watch in 2023.

Right now, experts are factoring all of this into their mortgage rate forecasts for next year. And if we average those forecasts together, experts say we can expect rates to stabilize a bit more in 2023. Whether that’s between 5.5% and 6.5%, it’s hard for experts to say exactly where they’ll land. But based on the average of their projections, a more predictable rate is likely ahead (see chart below):

What To Expect from the Housing Market in 2023 | MyKCM

That means, we’ll start the year out about where we are right now. But we could see rates tick down if inflation continues to drop. As Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains:

“. . . mortgage rates could pull back meaningfully next year if inflation pressures ease.

In the meantime, expect some volatility as rates will likely fluctuate in the weeks ahead. If we see inflation come back under control, that would be good news for the housing market.

What Will Happen to Home Prices Next Year?

Homes prices will always be defined by supply and demand. The more buyers and fewer homes there are on the market, the more home prices will rise. And that’s exactly what we saw during the pandemic.

But this year, things changed. We’ve seen home prices moderate and housing supply grow as buyer demand pulled back due to higher mortgage rates. The level of moderation has varied by local area – with the biggest changes happening in overheated markets. But do experts think that will continue?

The graph below shows the latest home price forecasts for 2023. As the different colored bars indicate, some experts are saying home prices will appreciate next year, and others are saying home prices will come down. But again, if we take the average of all the forecasts (shown in green), we can get a feel for what 2023 may hold.

What To Expect from the Housing Market in 2023 | MyKCM

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. That means nationally, we’ll likely see relatively flat or neutral appreciation in 2023. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

After a big boom over the past two years, there will essentially be no change nationally . . . Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines.”

Bottom Line

The 2023 housing market is going to be defined by mortgage rates, and rates will be determined by what happens with inflation. The best way to keep a pulse on what experts are projecting for next year is to lean on a trusted real estate advisor. Let’s connect!

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us

Home Sale Statistics in Northern Virginia – November 2022

Listen to Terry in the quick video below talk about the Northern Virginia real estate market as we come to the end of 2022. Are we still in a Seller’s Market? How do we compare to other regions in the country? What are interest rates doing?

If you have specific questions about the market you would like answered, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

After watching, take a look at all of the regional stats below along with links to some of our hyper local areas.

Northern Virginia November 2022 home sales:

1,782 homes went under contract in the region. This is down 44% from the same time period in 2021.

38% of the homes that went to settlement in November 2022, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.

• Average sold price was $676,877 (up 5% from the same time period in 2021).

1,979 homes came on the market. That’s down 23% from November 2021.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 27 days on market, 6 days slower than in November of 2021.

• There is currently a 1.0 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 3,141 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

OVERALL: Northern Virginia remained in a Seller’s Market. Inventory decreased from the prior month but was up 35% year-over-year.  The number of homes going under contract and coming on the market also declined, and both of these numbers continue to be down significantly from this time last year.  Average sold price was down from October but up compared to November last year.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, please reach out to Terry & The Belt Team and let our experience work for you.

(703) 242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | or fill out our Contact Us form

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

Vienna: November 2022 Home Sales

Oakton: November 2022 Home Sales 

McLean: November 2022 Home Sales 

Great Falls: November 2022 Home Sales 

Reston: November 2022 Home Sales 

Falls Church: November 2022 Home Sales 

Arlington: November 2022 Home Sales

Alexandria: November 2022 Home Sales  

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

Home Sale Statistics in Northern Virginia – October 2022

We are still experiencing a seller’s market in the Northern Virginia Region mostly due to the supply & demand equation, however, sales are down significantly (about 40%) from this time last year. Why? Partly due to inventory but a lot due to affordability issues because of the significant increase in interest rates.

In reality, we see this as a more “normal” seller’s market. What does that mean? Terry answers this and more in his latest market update video.

Northern Virginia October 2022 home sales:

2,119 homes went under contract in the region. This is down 46% from the same time period in 2021.

41% of the homes that went to settlement in October 2022, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.

• Average sold price was $699,532 (up 3.7% from the same time period in 2021).

2,720 homes came on the market. That’s down 33% from October 2021.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 25 days on market, 6 days slower than in October of 2021.

• There is currently a 1.2 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 3,778 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

OVERALL: Northern Virginia remained in a Seller’s Market. Inventory decreased from the prior month but was up 8.1% year-over-year.  The number of homes going under contract and coming on the market also declined, and both of these numbers continue to be down significantly from this time last year.  Average sold price was up from September and compared to October last year.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, please reach out to Terry & The Belt Team and let our experience work for you.

(703) 242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | or fill out our Contact Us form

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

Vienna: October 2022 Home Sales

Oakton: October 2022 Home Sales 

McLean: October 2022 Home Sales 

Great Falls: October 2022 Home Sales 

Reston: October 2022 Home Sales 

Falls Church: October 2022 Home Sales 

Arlington: October 2022 Home Sales

Alexandria: October 2022 Home Sales  

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

10200 Martinhoe Dr, Vienna VA 22181 – Just Listed by The Belt Team!

Welcome to 10200 Martinhoe Drive…a lovely split colonial situated on a .46 acre lot in the Lewis Manor neighborhood! With 4BR/2.5BA on 5 finished levels, this home features hardwood floors on the main level, crown molding throughout, built-in bookcases/shelving, a stone wood burning fireplace, eat-in kitchen, separate dining room, private office/den, spacious primary bedroom suite, finished lower level and more. Outdoor living & entertaining space includes a back deck overlooking the beautiful in-ground pool and fenced-in yard. 2-car attached garage, unbeatable location for commuters & amenities, and great schools! Don’t miss this opportunity to make this home your own!

See full listing: 10200 Martinhoe Drive, Vienna VA 22181

Call Terry Belt at 703-242-3975 for more details or to schedule a showing!

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you are thinking of buying or selling. The Belt Team has been in business for over 54 years and has sold over $1 Billion in transaction volume!

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us

Be sure to follow our blog, as well as our pages on Facebook & Instagram and our YouTube channel, to get our updates on the real estate market, community happenings and much more!

Home Sale Statistics in Northern Virginia – September/Q3 2022

Most areas in the Northern Virginia Region saw an increase in the number of new listings coming on the market during September, but the number of homes going under contract was down (and both of these numbers are still down year-over-year…in some cases significantly). This can be explained by the slowing of the market we’ve been seeing. That said, our region and hyper local markets remain relatively healthy and in a Seller’s Market.

This month we also give you a snapshot at some of the 3rd quarter-end statistics for the region overall and some local markets. In short, the numbers of homes sold versus 3rd quarter of 2021 were down across the board.

Northern Virginia September/Q3 2022 home sales:

2,427 homes went under contract in the region. This is down 35% from the same time period in 2021.

41% of the homes that went to settlement in September 2022, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.

• Average sold price was $655,155 (up 3% from the same time period in 2021).

3,531 homes came on the market. That’s down 26% from September 2021.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 24 days on market, 6 days slower than in September of 2021.

• There is currently a 1.2 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 3,984 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

OVERALL: Northern Virginia remained in a Seller’s Market. Inventory increased slightly from the prior month but was down 3.9% year-over-year.  The number of homes going under contract decreased but the number of new homes coming on the market increased…however both of these numbers continue to be down significantly from this time last year.  Average sold price was down from August but was up slightly compared to September last year.

Additional Quarter-End Stats – 2022 vs 2021:

Average sold price increased by 5.6% ($685,417 vs $648,935)

Total units sold decreased by 30%

Average sales price to original list price ratio decreased slightly – 98.8% vs 100.5%

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

Vienna: September 2022 Home Sales

Oakton: September 2022 Home Sales 

McLean: September 2022 Home Sales 

Great Falls: September 2022 Home Sales 

Reston: September 2022 Home Sales 

Falls Church: September 2022 Home Sales 

Arlington: September 2022 Home Sales

Alexandria: September 2022 Home Sales  

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

If you are thinking of buying or selling, please reach out to The Belt Team and let us help you navigate this unprecedented market.

(703) 242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | or fill out our Contact Us form

43108 Candlewick Square, Leesburg VA 20176 – Just Listed by The Belt Team!

Welcome to 43108 Candlewick Sq located in Potomac Station! This beautifully updated townhome has 3 bedrooms/3.5 baths, and over 2,400 square feet of living space on 3 finished levels. Stand out features include an updated eat-in kitchen with island & breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances, gas cooking, 42′ cabinets and granite countertops, a spacious living room with bay window, a separate dining area, hardwood & tile flooring on main level, bump-out in back for all levels (provides for the main level family room, the primary bedroom’s sitting area & lower level den/office), a primary bedroom suite with vaulted ceiling, attached bath, walk-in closet & sitting/dressing room, and a finished walkout lower level with gas fireplace, office/den area and bonus room. The back deck looks out over trees and the lower level fenced in patio includes a great storage shed! All of this and more in a great Leesburg location…close to many amenities, historic downtown Leesburg, and convenient for travel/commuting. Don’t miss your chance to make this wonderful property your next home!

 
Call Terry Belt for more details or to schedule a showing! 703-242-3975
 

Reach out to The Belt Team if you are thinking of buying or selling. The Belt Team has been in business for over 50 years and has sold over $1 Billion in transaction volume! 

Free Instant Online Home Valuation – What Is My Home Worth?

The Cost of Waiting for Mortgage Rates To Go Down

Mortgage rates have increased significantly in recent weeks. And that may mean you have questions about what this means for you if you’re planning to buy a home. Here’s some information that can help you make an informed decision when you set your homebuying plans.

The Impact of Rising Mortgage Rates

As mortgage rates rise, they impact your purchasing power by raising the cost of buying a home and limiting how much you can comfortably afford. Here’s how it works.

Let’s assume you want to buy a $400,000 home (the median-priced home according to the National Association of Realtors is $389,500). If you’re trying to shop at that price point and keep your monthly payment about $2,500-2,600 or below, here’s how your purchasing power can change as mortgage rates climb (see chart below). The red shows payments above that threshold and the green indicates a payment within your target range.

The Cost of Waiting for Mortgage Rates To Go Down | MyKCM

As the chart shows, as rates go up, the amount you can afford to borrow decreases and that may mean you have to look at homes at a different price point. That’s why it’s important to work with a real estate advisor to understand how mortgage rates impact your monthly mortgage payment at various home loan amounts.

Are Mortgage Rates Going To Go Down? 

The rise in mortgage rates and the resulting decrease in purchasing power may leave you wondering if you should wait for rates to go down before making your purchase. Realtor.com says this about where rates could go from here:

“Many homebuyers likely winced . . . upon hearing that the Federal Reserve yet again boosted its short-term interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point—a move that’s pushing mortgage rates through the roof. And the already high rates are just going to get higher.

So, if you’re waiting for mortgage rates to drop, you may be waiting for a while as the Federal Reserve works to get inflation under control.

And if you’re considering renting as your alternative while you wait it out, remember that’s going to get more expensive with time too. As Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“There is no doubt that these higher rates hurt housing affordability. Nevertheless, apart from borrowing costs, rents additionally rose at their highest pace in nearly four decades.”

Basically, it is true that it costs more to buy a home today than it did last year, but the same is true for renting. This means, either way, you’re going to be paying more. The difference is, with homeownership, you’re also gaining equity over time which will help grow your net worth. The question now becomes: what makes more sense for you?

Bottom Line

Each person’s situation is unique. To make the best decision for you, reach out to Terry Belt & The Belt Team to explore your options.

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us

How an Expert Can Help You Understand Inflation & Mortgage Rates

If you’re following today’s housing market, you know two of the top issues consumers face are inflation and mortgage rates. Let’s take a look at each one.

Inflation and the Housing Market

This year, inflation reached a high not seen in forty years. For the average consumer, you probably felt the pinch at the gas pump and in the grocery store. It may have even impacted your ability to save money to buy a home.

While the Federal Reserve is working hard to lower inflation, the August data shows the inflation rate was still higher than expected. This news impacted the stock market and fueled conversations about a recession. It also played a role in the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise the Federal Funds Rate last week. As Bankrate says:

“. . . the Fed has raised rates again, announcing yet another three-quarter-point hike on September 21 . . . The hikes are designed to cool an economy that has been on fire. . .”

While their actions don’t directly dictate what happens with mortgage rates, their decisions have contributed to the intentional cooldown in the housing market. A recent article from Fortune explains:

“As the Federal Reserve moved into inflation-fighting mode, financial markets quickly put upward pressure on mortgage rates. Those elevated mortgage rates . . . coupled with sky-high home prices, threw cold water onto the housing boom.”

The Impact on Rising Mortgage Rates

Over the past few months, mortgage rates have fluctuated in light of growing economic pressures. Most recently, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate according to Freddie Mac ticked above 6% for the first time in well over a decade (see graph below):

How an Expert Can Help You Understand Inflation & Mortgage Rates | MyKCM

The mortgage rate increases this year are the big reason buyer demand has pulled back in recent months. Basically, as rates (and home prices) rose, so did the cost of buying a home. That pushed on affordability and priced some buyers out of the market, so home sales slowed and the inventory of homes for sale grew as a result.

Where Experts Say Rates and Inflation Will Go from Here

Moving forward, both of these factors will continue to impact the housing market. A recent article from CNET puts the relationship between inflation and mortgage rates in simple terms:

“As a general rule, when inflation is low, mortgage rates tend to be lower. When inflation is high, rates tend to be higher.”

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, has this to say about where rates may go from here:

“Mortgage rates remained volatile due to the tug of war between inflationary pressures and a clear slowdown in economic growth. The high uncertainty surrounding inflation and other factors will likely cause rates to remain variable, . . .”

While there’s no way to say with certainty where mortgage rates will go from here, there is something you can do to stay informed, and that’s connect with a trusted real estate advisor. They keep their pulse on what’s happening today and help you understand what the experts are projecting. They can provide you with the best advice possible.

Bottom Line

Rising inflation and higher mortgage rates have had a clear impact on housing. For expert insights on the latest trends in the housing market and what they mean for you, reach out to Terry Belt and The Belt Team and let our 30+ years of experience work for you!

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us