An Update from Terry Belt…

What are we seeing happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market? Here’s an update from Terry Belt about what is happening and how we are adjusting to meet the needs of our clients.

Don’t forget, The Belt Team is here to help…real estate related or not! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 703-242-3975 or info@thebeltteam.com.

Please stay safe and healthy everyone!

The Belt Team is Here to Help!

Dear Belt Team Clients, Friends and Family, 

During this uncertain time, the world is definitely changing but the real estate market in our area is still active and moving. And…The Belt Team is still open for business! After being in business for over 50 years, we have been through challenging and unpredictable times before and we have learned the real estate market never drops to “zero”. Why? Because we work with people in the “traditional” market, meaning they have to buy and sell because of life changes. Even during this difficult time, that is not going to change. Housing is an essential need and we are here to help.  

We are well positioned to make the necessary modifications to accommodate the needs of our clients and business partners because of our extensive use of technology in our business as well as our years of experience. Along with implementing recommended sanitizing measures for in-person meetings, open houses, and showings, we are excited to be able to continue to offer virtual options for our services which we have been doing for certain people even before the Coronavirus arrived. We can conduct virtual buyer and seller consultations, virtual tours/open houses for our seller clients, virtual showings for our buyer clients, etc. As for our partners in the industry, mortgage and title companies, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, photographers, etc.. .they are still operating and business is creatively being done. These companies are also taking all necessary precautions and adjusting as needed for their clients. We have great relationships with our lenders and title companies and are in touch with them daily to ensure that our clients are able to complete their transactions. 

Our local markets are still very healthy. The inventory of homes before now was so historically low and real demand for housing so high that we have not yet seen a negative impact on the housing market. Aggregate showing activity has decreased as those that are not buying now are not browsing as much; however, the real buyers who need housing now continue unabated and we continue to see a homes go under contract quickly. Bottom line, if you are needing/wanting to buy and/or sell we recommend acting NOW before things possibly change that affect available housing, access to housing, interest rates and loan qualifying criteria, and the unpredictable.  

We know there are going to be people that need to buy or sell because of life circumstances and these people have been the lifeblood of our business. So, if you or anyone you know fits this category, we would love to connect, share our market knowledge and create a customized strategy to make your real estate needs and dreams come true. You can reach us at Info@TheBeltTeam.com or 703-242-3975

And, of course, if there is anything non real estate related that we can do to help you through this time, please DO NOT hesitate to reach out.  

Please stay safe and healthy as we all look forward to the better times ahead!   

Terry, Gail, Beth, Patty and Sarina

The Belt Team

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – February 2020

Record low supply of homes and strong buyer demand continues to drive the sellers’ market!  So, if you are thinking of selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975)to take advantage of this market!  If you are thinking of buying a home, it is very important to work with an experienced agent to help you navigate this type of market and make your home buying dreams come true!  Use the links at the end to see the details by submarket.

Mid-Atlantic Region

25,547 homes went under contract in the region. This is up (26.6%) from the same time period in 2019.

31% of the homes that went to settlement in February 2020, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.  

• Average sold price was $348,114 (up 8% from the same time period in 2019).

28,706 homes came on the market. That’s up 8.8% from February 2019.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 55 days on market, 6 days faster than in February of 2019.9.

• There is currently a 2.0 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 Mid Atlantic Region – and 47,701 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s MarketActivity picked up again in February…the number of homes that came on the market and that went under contract increased across the region.  Inventory continues to be low with the months supply of homes remaining the same. 

Buyers and Sellers…make sure you are working with an agent that will provide you with the data you need to make good decisions. The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. All of this data about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why.  If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be successful in the upper ranges where there is a more abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

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

Vienna: February 2020 Home Sales

Oakton: February 2020 Home Sales 

McLean: February 2020 Home Sales 

Great Falls: February 2020 Home Sales 

Reston: February 2020 Home Sales 

Falls Church: February 2020 Home Sales 

Arlington: February 2020 Home Sales 

Alexandria: February 2020 Home Sales  

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

Historically Low Mortgage Rates!

Another update from Terry…mortgage rates did drop yesterday so we’re now looking at historically low numbers! Something everyone should consider…buyers, sellers, homeowners not looking to make a move. Take a listen and give us a call 703-242-3975!

Fed’s Emergency Rate Cut 3/3/20…What Does It Mean For Mortgage Rates?

Wondering if the recent emergency interest rate cut by the Feb will affect mortgage rates/the real estate market? Our CEO, Terry Belt, shares his industry knowledge and addresses questions he’s been getting today.

And as always, feel free to reach out to The Belt Team to discuss selling your home or help you find your new house. 703-242-3975

Fairfax County Real Estate Tax Assessments Have Been Mailed!

Those of you who live in Fairfax County should be receiving your real estate tax assessment shortly.

For a large number of you (78.8%!), the assessment went up. And, well, that will likely mean higher taxes this year. On average, residential real estate assessments are up an average of 2.65%.

Note: the Board of Supervisors has not yet adopted the 2020 tax rate and will do so later this spring. On February 25th the 2021 Budget was presented to the Board and it included a 3% increase in Real Estate Tax Rate. So it is possible that what you pay will increase because of an increased tax rate AND because your assessment increased.

Assessments increased more from the previous year in part because values increased more. While 2018 saw a 3.03% increase in median sold price in Fairfax County, 2019 was higher at 4.90%.

(If you have not received your notice yet, you can check your Fairfax County assessment value online)


Here are some overall stats from Fairfax County:

Of the 355,404 taxable parcels in Fairfax County:

  • 303,680 have an assessment change
  • 51,724 have no assessment change

Here’s the breakdown of average home property assessment by property type (averages are not necessarily indicative of individual properties or neighborhoods):

  • Single family-detached homes – $692,409, up 2.36%
  • Townhouse/duplex properties – $437,346, up 3.43%
  • Condominiums – $288,246, up 4.36%

Now. Truth be told – the assessments in Fairfax County are oftentimes LOWER than actual “market value” (meaning what a “willing Seller” and “willing Buyer” agree a property is worth by ratifying a contract to sell/buy that property.)

If you are thinking of buying a home in Fairfax County, don’t be deceived into thinking you will be able to buy a home for about what the County has assessed as the value of the property. We are often asked how a Seller could justify an asking price above the Fairfax County tax assessment.

Assessed value is just ONE factor to look at when buying or selling. A better place to start is with a FREE INSTANT online estimate. Then schedule an appointment with The Belt Team for a custom estimate.

If you think your assessment is wrong, Fairfax County does have an appeal process. You can file an online appeal prior to May 1st. More info here.

Also note that Seniors and People with Disabilities may be eligible for the county’s tax relief program. More info here.

If you have questions about your assessed value, the market value of your home or are thinking of buying or selling a home, give The Belt Team a call (703) 242-3975. We are happy to help you make the right move!

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – January 2020

Welcome to our monthly post of home sale statistics for 2020! Below you will find the numbers for January.

The 2020 spring market has sprung! The buyers are out there looking for their dream homes (the stats show an increase in buyer activity from this time last year). So, if you are thinking of selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975) to help get your home ready and to make sure you don’t miss out on this market! If you are thinking of buying a home, it is very important to work with an experienced agent to help you navigate this type of market and make your home buying dreams come true!

21,625 homes went under contract in the region. This is up (19.5%) from the same time period in 2019.

25% of the homes that went to settlement in January 2020, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market. 

• Average sold price was $341,480 (up 4% from the same time period in 2019).

25,347 homes came on the market. That’s up 2.2% from January 2019.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 55 days on market, 4 days faster than in January of 2019.

• There is currently a 2.0 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 Mid Atlantic Region – and 48,379 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s Market.  Activity picked up in January after the holidays…the number of homes that came on the market and that went under contract increased.  But low inventory continues to be an issue and the total number of homes for sale decreased. 

Buyers and Sellers…make sure you are working with an agent that will provide you with the data you need to make good decisions. The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. All of this data about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why.  If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be successful in the upper ranges where there is a more abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

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

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

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You?

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You? | MyKCM

The real estate market is expected to do very well this year as mortgage rates remain at historic lows. One challenge to the housing industry is the lack of homes available for sale. Last week, move.com released a report showing that 2020 is beginning with the lowest available housing inventory in two years. The report explains:

“Last month saw the largest year-over-year decline of housing inventory in almost three years with a dramatic 12 percent decline, pushing the number of homes for sale in the U.S. to the lowest level since January 2018.”

The report also revealed that the decline in inventory stretches across all price points, as shown in the following graph:

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You? | MyKCM

George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, explains how this drop in available homes for sale comes at a time when more buyers are expected to enter the market:

“The market is struggling with a large housing undersupply just as 4.8 million millennials are reaching 30-years of age in 2020, a prime age for many to purchase their first home. The significant inventory drop…is a harbinger of the continuing imbalance expected to plague this year’s markets, as the number of homes for sale are poised to reach historically low levels.”

The question is: What does this mean to you?

If You’re a Buyer…

Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, however, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be ready to make a competitive offer from the start, and understand that a shortage in inventory could lead to the resurgence of bidding wars. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home, if you truly love it.

If You’re a Seller…

Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there is a shortage of an item at the same time there is a strong demand for that item, the seller of that item is in a good position to negotiate. Whether it is price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to demand more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.

Bottom Line

The housing market will remain strong throughout 2020. And it will be very important to work with an experienced agent who can help you understand what that means to you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both. That’s where The Belt Team comes in…give us a call or send us an email to help you navigate this market. We’ve been in business for over 50 years and have sold over $1 Billion in transactions throughout the years. It would be our pleasure to work with you and make your dreams come true!

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – December 2019

Welcome to our monthly post of home sale statistics for our region and some hyper local markets!  Below you will find the numbers for December 2019.

The 2020 spring market has already started! The buyers are out there looking for their dream homes (the stats show an increase in buyer activity from this time last year). So, if you are thinking of selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975) to help get your home ready and to make sure you don’t miss out on this market! If you are thinking of buying a home, it is very important to work with an experienced agent to help you navigate this type of market and make your home buying dreams come true!

16,455 homes went under contract in the region. This is up (15%) from the same time period in 2018.

28% of the homes that went to settlement in December 2019, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market. 

• Average sold price was $354,094 (up 6% from the same time period in 2018).

15,573 homes came on the market. That’s down 0.7% from December 2018.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 48 days on market, 6 days faster than in December of 2018.

• There is currently a 2.1 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 Mid Atlantic Region – and 50,094 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

Additional Year-End Stats – 2018 vs 2019:

Average sold price increased by 4.05% ($338,130 vs $351,834)

Total units sold increased by 3.8%

Average sales price to original list price ratio remained the same – 97%

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s Market.  No major changes during December but like last month, the number of homes that went under contract and the number of homes to hit the market decreased (which is not unexpected during the holiday season).

As we look back at the past year, the 2019 real estate market was healthy bolstered by conditions like the strong economy, low interest rates and low unemployment.  We saw an emergence of what we call a “segmented” market…the more affordable price points were definitely in a Seller’s Market as inventory was low, homes were selling much faster and we saw some appreciation in prices, while the upper-end price points in some areas experienced a more Balanced Market (even Buyers Market in some areas).  Prices did not appreciate and properties sat on the market longer.  We believe this segmented market continuing through 2020.

Buyers and Sellers…make sure you are working with an agent that will provide you with the data you need to make good decisions. The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. All of this data about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why.  If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be successful in the upper ranges where there is a more abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

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

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

Our CEO, Terry Belt recaps the 2019 Real Estate Market and what’s ahead for 2020.

Our CEO, Terry Belt, recaps the 2019 real estate market and discusses what he thinks 2020 will look like. 2019 was a healthy market bolstered by conditions like the strong economy, low interest rates, low unemployment, etc. There was also the emergence of what he calls a “segmented” market in 2019 and he anticipates it to continue into 2020. He also talks about stats that show why the spring market has already hit!

Watch Terry’s complete message for more specifics and learn why it is so important to work with experienced agents like The Belt Team to navigate this market. Call TODAY (703-242-3975) to make sure you don’t miss out on the market and talk with one of our agents…we have been in business for over 50 years and have closed over $1 Billion in transactions.

703-242-3975

info@TheBeltTeam.com

http://www.TheBeltTeam.com