What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?| MyKCM

Some interesting market info from Keeping Current Matters…

With the current uncertainty about the economy triggered by a potential trade war, some people are waiting to purchase their first home or move-up to their dream house because they think or hope home prices will drop over the next few years. However, the experts disagree with this perspective.

Here is a table showing the predicted levels of appreciation from six major housing sources:

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?| MyKCM

As we can see, every source believes home prices will continue to appreciate (albeit at lower levels than we have seen over the last several years). But, not one source is calling for residential real estate values to depreciate.

Additionally, ARCH Mortgage Insurance Company in their current Housing and Mortgage Market Review revealed their latest ARCH Risk Index, which estimates the probability of home prices being lower in two years. There was not one state that even had a moderate probability of home prices lowering. In fact, 34 of the 50 states had a minimal probability.

What Is the Probability That Home Values Sink?| MyKCM

Bottom Line

Those waiting for prices to fall before purchasing a home should realize that the probability of that happening anytime soon is very low. With mortgage rates already at near historic lows, now may be the time to act.

So call The Belt Team now at 703-242-3975 if you are thinking about buying a home for the first time or moving up to your dream home. We would love to put our experience and expertise to work for you!

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – August 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 August 2019.

With inventory remaining low…it’s still a great time to sell!  If you are thinking of making a move, contact The Belt Team NOW (703-242-3975) to make sure you are working with an agent that is on top of the market and can provide you with all the information you need.

26,051 homes went under contract in the region. This is up (16%) from the same time period in 2018.

30% of the homes that went to settlement in August 2019, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market. 

• Average sold price was $360,467 (up 4% from the same time period in 2018).

31,687 homes came on the market. That’s down just under 3% from August 2018.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 55 days on market, 1 day longer than in August of 2018.

• There is currently a 2.9 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 65,258 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s Market.  The overall market conditions in the region did not change significantly in August but let’s take a look at some of our local markets and see what their numbers look like.

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).

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – July 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 July 2019.

It is still a great time to sell! Please call or text The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 or email info@thebeltteam.com to discuss in more detail what is happening in your market …we’d love to help you realize your real estate dreams!

• 27,439 homes went under contract in the region. This is up (12.8%) from the same time period in 2018.

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

• Average sold price was $368,571 (up 4.91% from the same time period in 2018).

• 33,104 homes came on the market. That’s down 0.1%from July 2018.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 57 days on market, 7 days longer than in July of 2018.

• There is currently a 3.0 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 66,513 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s Market.  Again, the overall market conditions in the region did not change significantly in July but let’s take a look at some of our local markets and see what their numbers look like. 

Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly…and so do our agents!  Contact The Belt Team NOW (703-242-3975) to make sure you are working with an agent that is on top of the market you are targeting and can provide you with all the information you need.

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).

American Confidence in Housing at an All-Time High

American Confidence in Housing at an All-Time High | MyKCM

Fannie Mae just released the July edition of their Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The HPSI takes information regarding consumers’ confidence in the real estate market from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and condenses it into a single number. Therefore, the HPSI reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions.

Great News! The index reached its highest level since Fannie Mae began their survey. Breaking it down, the report revealed:

  • The share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home increased from the same time last year.
  • The share of those who say it is a good time to sell a home increased from the same time last year.
  • The share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job over the next 12 months increased dramatically (16 percentage points) from the same time last year.
  • The share of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months increased dramatically (24 percentage points) from the same time last year.

The day after the index was released, Freddie Mac also announced the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to its lowest level in three years.

Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae explained the uptick in the index:

“Consumer job confidence and favorable mortgage rate expectations lifted the HPSI to a new survey high in July, despite ongoing housing supply and affordability challenges. Consumers appear to have shaken off a winter slump in sentiment amid strong income gains. Therefore, sentiment is positioned to take advantage of any supply that comes to market, particularly in the affordable category.”

Bottom Line

Consumers are feeling good about the real estate market. Since Americans are not worried about their jobs, see mortgage rates near an all-time low, and believe it is a good time to buy, the housing market will remain strong for the rest of the year.

So now’s a great time to give us a call/end us an email to help you buy or sell! 703-242-3975 / info@thebeltteam.com

ANNOUNCING The Belt Team’s 1st Annual Dog Days of Summer Photo Contest!

The Belt Team loves our dogs and we know many of you do too! So we want to see your photos in honor of our furry friends & the end of summer!

Click the link below to see more contest details (rumor has it 1st prize is a YETI dog bowl!) and to enter a photo that best shows your dog’s personality.

https://thebeltteam.com/photo_contest_

And yes, the adorable pups above are members of our Belt Team family. 🥰

And as always…if you, or anyone you know, need any real estate assistance, email us at info@thebeltteam.com or call/text 703-242-3975!  We would love to help.  (And not just in the Northern Virginia area.  We know fantastic agents all over the country and would be happy to make introductions!)

*Entry deadline: 5pm, August 21, 2019. One entry per household. Winners chosen by The Belt Team and announced August 28, 2019.

4 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

4 Tips to Sell Your Home Faster | MyKCM

Since June of last year, we have seen an increase in the inventory of homes for sale month per month. Every spring and summer, the inventory increases because people want to sell their home. For those with children, they may want to be in their new home for the beginning of the school year.

If you are one of those sellers, you may find these 4 tips helpful in getting your home sold more quickly.

1. Make buyers feel at home

Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make them feel like they belong in this house! According to the Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors,

“83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Not only will your house spend less time on the market, but the same report mentioned that,

“One-quarter of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1 – 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged.”

2. Keep it organized

Since you took the time to declutter, keep it organized! Before the buyers show up, pick up toys, make the bed, and put away clean dishes. It is also a good idea to put out some cookies fresh from the oven or a scented candle. Buyers will remember the smell of your home! According to the same report, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers.

3. Give buyers full access

One of the top four elements when selling your home is access! If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunity to find a buyer right away. Some buyers, especially those relocating, don’t have much time available. If they cannot get into the house, they will move on to the next one.

4. Price it right

As we mentioned at the beginning, more inventory coming into the market guarantees there will be some competition. You want to make sure your home is noticed. The key to selling your house in 2019 is ensuring it is Priced to Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the greatest amount of buyers and will sell at a great price before more competition comes to market!

Bottom Line

If you want to sell your house in the least amount of time at the best price with as little hassle as possible, a local real estate professional is a useful guide. Call The Belt Team today to find out what you need to do to sell your home more quickly…703-242-3975!

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – June 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 June 2019.

Please call or text The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 or email info@thebeltteam.com to discuss in more detail what is happening in your market or if you are interested in buying and/or selling…we’d love to hear from you!

28,484 homes went under contract in the region. This is up (8.23%) from the same time period in 2018.

31% of the homes that went to settlement in June 2019, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market. 

• Average sold price was $374,501 (up 4.91% from the same time period in 2018).

35,305 homes came on the market. That’s down 4.16% from June 2018.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 55 days on market, 4 days longer than in June of 2018.

• There is currently a 3.0 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 67,494 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s Market.  We saw a very slight increase in the average sales price from last month and the number of new listings that came on the market decreased again this month. 

The overall market conditions in the region did not change significantly in June but let’s take a look at some of our local markets and see what their numbers look like…some areas have seen their market slowing a bit.  The number of homes hitting the market decreased from last month and the average days on market is increasing.

Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly…and so do our agents!  Contact The Belt Team NOW (703-242-3975) to make sure you are working with an agent that is on top of the market you are targeting and can provide you with all the information you need.

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

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent | MyKCM

Owning a home has great financial benefits.

In a recent research paper, Homeownership and the American Dream, Laurie S. Goodman and Christopher Mayer of the Urban Land Institute explained:

“Homeownership appears to help borrowers accumulate housing and nonhousing wealth in a variety of ways, with tax advantages, greater financial flexibility due to secured borrowing, built-in ‘default’ savings with mortgage amortization and nominally fixed payments, and the potential to lower home maintenance costs through sweat equity.”

Let’s breakdown 5 major financial benefits of homeownership:

1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available

Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. A 20% down payment results in a leverage factor of five, meaning every percentage point rise in the value of your home is a 5% return on your equity. If you put down 10%, your leverage factor is 10.

Example: Let’s assume you purchased a $300,000 home and put down $60,000 (20%). If the house appreciates by $30,000, that is only a 10% increase in value but a 50% increase in equity.

2. You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent

Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of property taxes and home repairs. Every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs (property taxes, repairs, insurance, etc.) are baked into the rent payment already – along with a profit margin!!

3. Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”

Studies have shown that homeowners have a net worth that is 44X greater than that of a renter. As a matter of fact, it was recently estimated that a family buying an average priced home this past January could build more than $42,000 in family wealth over the next five years.

4. Owning is a hedge against inflation

House values and rents tend to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation. When you own, your home’s value will protect you from that inflation.

5. There are still substantial tax benefits to owning

We know that the new tax reform bill puts limits on some deductions on certain homes. However, in the research paper referenced above, the authors explain:

“…the mortgage interest deduction is not the main source of these gains; even if it were removed, homeowners would continue to benefit from a lack of taxation of imputed rent and capital gains.”

Bottom Line

From a financial standpoint, owning a home has always been and will always be better than renting.

Ready to buy? Call/text us at 703-242-3975

Now’s the Time to Move-Up and Upgrade Your Current Home!

Now’s the Time to Move-Up and Upgrade Your Current Home! | MyKCM

Homes priced at the top 25% of the price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” In today’s real estate market, there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners wanting to upgrade from their current house.

Much of the demand for housing over the past couple of years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home. Many of the more expensive homes listed for sale have not seen as much interest.

According to ILHM’s Luxury Reportthis mismatch in demand and inventory of luxury and premium homes has created a Buyer’s Market. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home was defined as one that costs $1 million or more.

“A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of homes on the market and few sales, suggesting demand for residential properties is slow for that market and/or price point.”

The authors of the report were quick to point out that current conditions at the higher end of the market are no cause for concern.

“While luxury homes may take longer to sell than in previous years, the slower pace, increased inventory levels and larger differences between list and sold prices, represent a normalization of the market, not a downturn.”

Luxury can mean different things to different people. To one person, luxury is a secluded home with plenty of property and privacy. To another, it could be a penthouse at the center of a bustling city. Knowing what characteristics mean luxury to you will help your agent find you the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

If you are debating upgrading your current house to a premium or luxury home, now is the time! Give us a call or text 703-242-3972 or email info@TheBeltTeam.com and we’d be happy to help!

Before You Look for Your Dream Home: Know What You Want vs. What You Need!

Before You Look for Your Dream Home: Know What You Want vs. What You Need! | MyKCM

In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale through rose-colored glasses.

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the “man cave” of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?

The first step in your home buying process should be getting pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.

The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:

  • “Must-Haves” – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms).
  • “Should-Haves” – if the property hits all of the ‘must-haves’ and some of the ‘should-haves,’ it stays in contention but does not need to have all of these features.
  • “Absolute-Wish List” – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!

Bottom Line

Having this list fleshed out before starting your search will save you time and frustration. It also lets your agent know what features are most important to you before they start showing you houses in your desired area.

Thinking about buying? Call/text us at 703-242-3975