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).

Top Questions About Selling Your Home This Winter

There’s no denying the housing market is undergoing a shift this season, and that may leave you with some questions about whether it still makes sense to sell your house. Here are three of the top questions you may be asking – and the data that helps answer them – so you can make a confident decision.

1. Should I Wait To Sell?

Even though the supply of homes for sale has increased in 2022, inventory is still low overall. That means it’s still a sellers’ market. The graph below helps put the inventory growth into perspective. Using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it shows just how far off we are from flipping to a buyers’ market:

Top Questions About Selling Your Home This Winter | MyKCM

While buyers have regained some negotiation power as inventory has grown, you haven’t missed your window to sell. Your house could still stand out since inventory is low, especially if you list now while other sellers hold off until after the holiday rush and the start of the new year.

2. Are Buyers Still Out There?

If you’re thinking of selling your house but are hesitant because you’re worried buyer demand has disappeared in the face of higher mortgage rates, know that isn’t the case for everyone. While demand has eased this year, millennials are still looking for homes. As an article in Forbes explains:

At about 80 million strong, millennials currently make up the largest share of homebuyers (43%) in the U.S., according to a recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) report. Simply due to their numbers and eagerness to become homeowners, this cohort is quite literally shaping the next frontier of the homebuying process. Once known as the ‘rent generation,’ millennials have proven to be savvy buyers who are quite nimble in their quest to own real estate. In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they are the key to the overall health and stability of the current housing industry.”

While the millennial generation has been dubbed the renter generation, that namesake may not be appropriate anymore. Millennials, the largest generation, are actually a significant driving force for buyer demand in the housing market today. If you’re wondering if buyers are still out there, know that there are still people who are searching for a home to buy today. And your house may be exactly what they’re looking for.

3. Can I Afford To Buy My Next Home?

If current market conditions have you worried about how you’ll afford your next move, consider this: you may have more equity in your current home than you realize.

Homeowners have gained significant equity over the past few years and that equity can make a big difference in the affordability equation, especially with mortgage rates higher now than they were last year. According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American:

“. . . homeowners, in aggregate, have historically high levels of home equity. For some of those equity-rich homeowners, that means moving and taking on a higher mortgage rate isn’t a huge deal—especially if they are moving to a more affordable city.” 

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your house this season, reach out to The Belt Team so you have the expert insights you need to make the best possible move today.

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

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).

What Happens to Housing When There’s a Recession?

Since the 2008 housing bubble burst, the word recession strikes a stronger emotional chord than it ever did before. And while there’s some debate around whether we’re officially in a recession right now, the good news is experts say a recession today would likely be mild and the economy would rebound quickly. As the 2022 CEO Outlook from KPMG says:

“Global CEOs see a ‘mild and short’ recession, yet optimistic about global economy over 3-year horizon . . . 

 More than 8 out of 10 anticipate a recession over the next 12 months, with more than half expecting it to be mild and short.”

To add to that sentiment, housing is typically one of the first sectors to rebound during a slowdown. As Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zondaexplains:

“Housing is traditionally one of the first sectors to slow as the economy shifts but is also one of the first to rebound.”

Part of that rebound is tied to what has historically happened to mortgage rates during recessions. Here’s a look back at rates during previous economic slowdowns to help put your mind at ease.

Mortgage Rates Typically Fall During Recessions

Historical data helps paint the picture of how a recession could impact the cost of financing a home. Looking at recessions in this country going all the way back to 1980, the graph below shows each time the economy slowed down mortgage rates decreased.

What Happens to Housing when There’s a Recession? | MyKCM


Fortune explains mortgage rates typically fall during an economic slowdown:

Over the past five recessions, mortgage rates have fallen an average of 1.8 percentage points from the peak seen during the recession to the trough. And in many cases, they continued to fall after the fact as it takes some time to turn things around even when the recession is technically over.”

While history doesn’t always repeat itself, we can learn from and find comfort in the trends of what’s happened in the past. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, you can make the best decision by working with a trusted real estate professional. That way you have expert advice on what a recession could mean for the housing market.

Bottom Line

History shows you don’t need to fear the word recession when it comes to the housing market. If you have questions about what’s happening today, let’s connect so you have expert advice and insights you can trust.

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

Introducing our FREE Market Reports!

We know that keeping track of your home’s value is important to you so we built a technology that lets you know exactly what is going on in your neighborhood. Let us introduce you to our FREE Market Reports! Watch the full video to get more details.

This is another valuable service that we can provide to you so that you can keep track of one of your biggest investments – your home. We know that having access to this type of information will create real estate related questions… just know that we are at your service whether it’s question about refinancing, remodeling, or when you’re ready to sell your home.

Contact us to start receiving our Market Report today and to get all of your real estate questions answered!

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

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

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