How’s the Housing Market?


The number one question Terry & Tom are getting at the holiday parties this season is “How’s the housing market?”. 

That is an extremely broad question in our opinion. We know you want a straight forward and direct answer, but bottom line is that it depends.  It’s kind of like the stock market. That may be a bad subject for people over the last few weeks (sorry!), but it’s very similar in the way someone would answer the question “How’s the stock market?”.

If you’re talking about the stock market, just like the housing market, there’s never a bad time to buy, generally speaking. There are always highs and lows. But we need to dig a bit deeper to discuss the market as it pertains to the person asking specifically. So, our question to them would be, “What’s your situation? Are you needing to sell, wanting to sell? Are you needing to buy, wanting to buy? These all play a role in how the market is doing in regards to their specific situation. 

If you are currently in the market to buy a home you may have seen national headlines about how strong the market is right now. What market are those headlines referring to? Be sure to check out our latest video to hear about different buyer/seller scenarios and what a healthy market looks like. 

Thinking of buying or selling or knows someone who is? We want to help anyway we can! Feel free to drop your questions in the comments or reach out to us. 

Give us a call at 703-242-3975 or Email: info@thebeltteam.com 

Thinking of Selling? You Should Act NOW!

Now is the time to sell.

That’s the opinion of our colleagues at Keeping Current Matters. (Our opinion depends on your personal situation, so give us a call at (703) 242-3975 and we will do an in depth analysis with you so you can be sure of what’s right for YOU.)

What Is My Home Worth

Here’s why KCM thinks NOW is the time . . .

Thinking of Selling? You Should Act NOW! | MyKCM

If you thought about selling your house this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented:

“Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

Yun goes on to say:

“Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction, including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. Recently named to Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Realtors list for the 3rd year in a row, we are one of the country’s top teams and would love to help you make the RIGHT move for YOU.

What Is My Home Worth

Is 2017 the Year to Move Up to Your Dream Home? If So, Do It Early!

Luxury Homes For Sale 22181

Here’s what our colleagues at Keeping Current Matters had to say about whether this year is the year to move up to your dream home:

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If you are considering moving up to your dream home, it may be better to do it earlier in the year than later. The two components of your monthly mortgage payment (home prices and interest rates) are both projected to increase as the year moves forward, and interest rates may increase rather dramatically. Here are some predictions on where rates will be by the end of the year:

Freddie Mac

While full employment and rising inflation are signs of a strong economy, they also have the potential to push mortgage rates and house prices up. The higher rates and higher prices create significant affordability concerns, which may continue to characterize the housing market for the rest of 2017.”

Lynn Fisher, Vice President of Research & Economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association

By the time we get to the fourth quarter of this year, we will still be under 5 percent – we are thinking 4.7 percent…Something north of 5 percent by the time we get to 2018, and by the time we get to 2019, we show fourth-quarter rates hitting 5.5 percent.”

Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist

Despite some regional disparities, title agents and real estate professionals do not expect increasing mortgage rates to have a significant impact on the housing market this spring. Continued good economic news, increasing Millennial demand and confidence that buyers will remain in the market even if rates exceed 5 percent bode well for 2017 real estate.

Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac

We will probably see rates higher at the end of year, around 4.5%.”

Bottom Line

If you are feeling good about your family’s economic future and are considering making a move to your dream home, doing it sooner rather than later makes the most sense.

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Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We are happy to walk you through the pros and cons of moving up now and help you make the BEST move!

Real Estate Market Shift Spells “Opportunity” for Some, “Reality” For Others

Opportunity or Reality

The real estate market in Northern Virginia is continuing to experience a subtle shift. While we’re still seeing competitive situations and multiple offers on some homes in some areas, other areas are seeing average time on market as high as 6 months and housing inventory of more than a year. If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home, you will definitely want to take a look at these numbers – because numbers tell a story!

City # Homes On Market Avg Days on Market # Under Contract Past 30 days #Months Housing Supply
Vienna 242 102 73 3.3
Sterling 281 50 109 2.6
Springfield 257 52 113 2.3
Reston 283 54 97 2.9
Oakton 104 112 28 3.8
McLean 321 108 66 4.9
Herndon 237 65 77 3.1
Great Falls 224 179 15 14.9
Falls Church 296 58 117 2.5
Fairfax 445 55 182 2.5
Dunn Loring 7 49 1 7.0
Chantilly 53 51 14 3.8
Centreville 243 61 80 3.0
Burke 105 48 53 2.0
Ashburn 558 93 143 3.9
Arlington 610 75 246 2.5
Alexandria 1181 79 440 2.7

The area and price range you’re looking in will vastly affect what strategy you employ.

If you’re looking to buy in Great Falls for example, then you have a HUGE amount of leverage when making an offer. Currently, there are 224 homes for sale and the average time those homes have been on the market is SIX MONTHS. There is also a FIFTEEN MONTH supply of housing right now. That means if homes sell at the rate they have over the past 30 days, then it would take 15 months to sell all of the homes currently on the market. That spells OPPORTUNITY for buyers. And it spells REALITY for Sellers. It’s no longer the time to price aggressively to “see what the market will bear.”

(Search Homes For Sale in Great Falls)

On the other hand, if you’re looking in Burke, you’ll find the complete opposite. Average days on market for active listings is less than two months. And there is only a 2 month supply of housing. Less than 3 months housing supply means that Burke is still experiencing a Seller’s Market. What does this mean? Sellers may still be able to push the envelope; and Buyers will likely find themselves competing for homes. This means Buyers need to adjust their contract strategy accordingly – being prepared to offer more, use an escalation clause, drop contingencies, offer a free rentback or a number of other strategies.

(Search Homes For Sale in Burke)

When you look at the chart above – what you’ll see is that in general, the higher price areas (like Great Falls & McLean) are starting to see longer marketing times and a much larger housing supply. While the more affordable areas (like Burke & Springfield) are still firecely competitive.

(Search Homes For Sale in Great Falls) (Search Homes For Sale in McLean)

(Search Homes For Sale in Burke) (Search Homes For Sale in Springfield)

Areas like Vienna, Oakton & Ashburn are experiencing what we call a “W” Market. Buyers in these markets are extremely price sensitive and there are pockets of Buyer & Seller submarkets embedded within each – some Seller’s, some Buyer’s, some Balanced Markets.. As an example, we recently put 3 listings on the market in Vienna between $800,000 and $900,000. One had multiple offers and sold in 3 days over list price. The others are still on the market. We are seeing Buyers step back and make much more considered decisions – sometimes not even looking at homes they feel are overpriced, and/or not being able to look past issues like dated kitchens. This means Sellers must be much more on target when setting that initial price in order to end up at the top of the W, and not at the bottom.

(Search Homes For Sale in Vienna) (Search Homes For Sale in Oakton) (Search Homes For Sale in Ashburn)

For more info about YOUR neighborhood or the neighborhood you WANT to live in, contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We’ll help create a personal strategy for YOUR market. regardless of whether you’re buying or selling, you deserve the BEST Real Estate Team in Northern VA!

Top Northern VA Real Estate Agents

National Housing Update By The Numbers

Wondering where things are in the housing market on a national level? Watch this 1 minute video for an update on home sales, home prices & interest rates.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Northern Virginia, call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to find out what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood – because in real estate, it’s all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

Search all homes for sale in Northern Virginia on our state-of-the-art home search site

Wondering how much you can afford? Contact John Clark with New Penn Financial (our preferred lender) for a confidential pre-approval.

How Affordable Are Homes In Nothern Virginia?

“The market’s up, the market’s down, the market’s up.” Are you confused by what you’re hearing? It’s easy to understand why that might be the case.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, it also may be kind of mind blowing to think about how much that home may cost – especially when you’re looking at real estate in Northern Virginia!

But here’s the good news for both Buyers & Sellers – housing affordability is at a high! Take a look at this 20 second video and you’ll see why we say that.

If you’re ready to take advantage of the market today, contact The Belt Team. We’re on YOUR side!

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