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

3 Best Practices for Selling Your House This Year

A new year brings with it the opportunity for new experiences. If that resonates with you because you’re considering making a move, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement over your next home and a sense of attachment to your current one.

A great way to ease some of those emotions and ensure you’re feeling confident in your decision is to keep these three best practices in mind.

1. Price Your Home Right

The housing market shifted in 2022 as mortgage rates rose, buyer demand eased, and the number of homes for sale grew. As a seller, you’ll want to recognize things are different now and price your house appropriately based on where the market is today. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains:

“Price your home realistically. This isn’t the housing market of April or May, so buyer traffic will be substantially slower, but appropriately priced homes are still selling quickly.”

If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you’re leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are living in their houses longer. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 5 to 10 years (see graph below):

3 Best Practices for Selling Your House This Year | MyKCM

This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it’s the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate and separate the emotional value of the house from fair market price. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations along the way.

3. Stage Your Home Properly

While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your home over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you focus on your home’s first impression so it appeals to as many buyers as possible. As NAR says:

“Staging is the art of preparing a home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers in your market. The right arrangements can move you into a higher price-point and help buyers fall in love the moment they walk through the door.”

Buyers want to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it could be their own. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your house ready to sell.

If you’re considering selling your house, call The Belt Team today so we an help you through the process while prioritizing these best practices.

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 – 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).

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!

Most Popular Halloween Candy by State – 2022

Halloween is less than a week away…are you ready with the right candy?! The folks at CandyStore.com (a bulk candy retailer and distributor) have compiled 15 years of candy sales data and published the Most Popular Halloween Candy in the US by state again for 2022 (check out their website for a fun interactive map). After a couple of down years for candy sales, they expect this year to be “full-on normal-sized Halloween again.”

The National Retail Federation predicts that the amount spent on Halloween candy this year will be close to $3.1 Billion…an all time high!

To really make sure you buy the right candy, they not only pulled together the top three candies by state, but they also share the list of overall nationwide Best and Worst Halloween Candies. Here’s how they did it…

We looked at 15 years of sales data (2007-2021), looking in particular at the months leading up to Halloween. We sell nationwide (and to Canada) so we broke down our sales by state. We also have relationships with major candy manufacturers and distributors – all of whom contributed and helped us reach our conclusions.

Candystore.com

So Virginia…here are our Top 3!

  1. Hot Tamales
  2. Snickers
  3. Tootsie Pops

And the overall nationwide winners (and loser) are….

Top 10 Best Halloween Candies

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Skittles
  3. M&Ms
  4. Starburst
  5. Hot Tamales
  6. Sour Patch Kids
  7. Hershey Kisses
  8. Snickers
  9. Tootsie Pops
  10. Candy Corn (hmmm….)

Top 10 Worst Halloween Candies

  1. Circus Peanuts
  2. Candy Corn (drops from #1 last year!)
  3. Peanut Butter Kisses
  4. Necco Wafers
  5. Wax Cola Bottles
  6. Smarties
  7. Mary Janes
  8. Tootsie Rolls
  9. Licorice
  10. Good & Plenty

Check out the CandyStore.com blog for more info (including an interactive map and the top 3 candies by state) and make sure you don’t get caught giving out the WRONG treats!!

Let us know in comments what your favorite candy is and if you agree or disagree with your state’s most popular choice!

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