U.S. Housing Inventory Hits a New Low – That’s GREAT! (If You’re Selling!)

Here’s the latest from our colleagues at Keeping Current Matters.
For info about YOUR neighborhood (or the neighborhood you want to live in), give The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. We can provide you with detailed facts PLUS the “boots on the ground” data that will help you make the RIGHT move! Because what’s happening in Vienna may be different than in Arlington. Even more important is price range – because we are seeing a slowing in the upper ranges, while other price ranges remain HOT!
U.S. Housing Inventory Hits a New Low… List Your House TODAY! | MyKCM

Every summer, families across the country decide if this will be the year they sell their current house and move into their dream home.

Mortgage rates have hovered around 4% for all of 2017, forcing buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!! At the same time, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year.

Trulia reported that “U.S. home inventory has tumbled 8.9% over the past year and has now fallen for nine consecutive quarters.” There is now 20% less inventory than there was five years ago.

Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:

U.S. Housing Inventory Hits a New Low… List Your House TODAY! | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2017, now may be the perfect time.

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Lack of Homes for Sale Slowing Down the Housing Market

WHat Is My Home Worth

Here’s an update from “Keeping Current Matters” about the state of the national real estate market. In general, in Northern VA, we are seeing similar things to what KCM reports, but not in 100% of the areas. For most of you, this means it’s a GREAT time to sell!

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for more info on YOUR neighborhood.


Lack of Homes for Sale Slowing Down the Housing Market | MyKCM

The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2017 will be the year that the housing market races forward again.

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.

Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

National Association of Realtors

“Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 10.8%…which is the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 19 straight months and is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com

“More than two-thirds of the markets are seeing less inventory now compared to a year ago.”

 Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“The dismal number of listings in the affordable price range is squeezing prospective first-time buyers the most. As a result, young households are missing out on the wealth gains most homeowners have accrued from the 41% cumulative rise in existing home prices since 2011.”

 Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic

“The lack of affordable supply is really driving up home prices.”

 Peter Muoio, Chief Economist at Auction.com

“Tight housing inventory remains a constraining factor limiting stronger sales growth… We expect further price growth to entice more homeowners to list their homes, particularly as existing homeowners have greater equity.”

Bottom Line 

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.


Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE personalized consultation. Find out if your home is in a Seller’s Market or a Buyer’s Market!

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The Northern VA Real Estate Market Is Shifting – Special Message from CEO Terry Belt

I’ve lived in Northern VA for almost my entire life. And I’m a third generation real estate agent. I know both our area and real estate well! One thing I know for sure is that the real estate market is not a straight, static line and it never will be. It is always moving.

I believe we are going to see our next shift in the next 12 months or so. Local bankers and experts are giving it 12-24 months in the Northern VA – Washington DC area market before it hits. I’m calling it sooner, and yet who knows? This means I believe we will move into neutrality, then back into a Buyer’s Market. We are likely at the peak of this Seller’s cycle between now and Spring. In fact, some parts of our market have already shifted notably over the past 3 months.

I recently returned from masterminding with Gary Keller, the Chairman of the Board of Keller Williams Realty (the world’s largest real estate company with over 140,000 Realtors), and with our Top 100 agents. Approximately half of the metropolitan areas in the USA are already undergoing this shift. I am tracking it closely. We may or may not have one more spring as crazy and frenetic as this past one was, with multiple offers in the entry price ranges and buyers beating down seller’s doors. As one of the area’s top teams, The Belt Team has been privileged to help 71 families buy and sell homes so far this year, and we expect to help many more in the coming months. We have an excellent handle on the market and especially the micro markets throughout Northern VA and Washington DC. Sometimes those micromarkets are geographical and sometimes they are price driven.

What does this mean for you? Well our market has two primary seasons, although we are lucky that we don’t have extreme seasonality here. The majority of our residential real estate sales come in the spring. Our secondary market is fall: September/October. If you have been thinking about selling your home in the next few years, I highly urge you to email or call me (703-242-3975) so we can begin the conversation about home prep, pricing, and timing. You may not decide to sell now, and yet I highly recommend having the conversation now. I think selling in the next 60 days is outstanding timing.

Call, or email any time. We are happy to talk and meet with you, advise you on preparations & timing, and to give you a property and pricing analysis of your home with no obligation. Feel free to browse our website. I look forward to a continued conversation.

Best,
Terry Belt
CEO, The Belt Team

CEO The Belt Team

“Four Months Is Cray-Cray”

We often share with your the research that is brought to us by Keeping Current Matters. Recently, they quoted Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com. He said

“The increase in sales is resulting in continued tighter-than-tight supply—measured by NAR to be four months in January.  For you non-economists out there, that metric measures the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of available homes, at the current pace. Got it? Six to seven months’ worth of homes on the market is considered normal; four months is cray-cray.”

I read that and thought, “Wow if four months is cray-ray, what is two months?” You see, places all around Northern Virginia are sitting at two months or less of housing inventory. That’s a Seller’s Market folks.

Search our state of the art home search site.

Low Inventory in Northern VA - Keeping Current MattersBuyers – you gotta be prepared. Sellers – NOW is the time.

Buyers – it’s not always price that wins a contract. Talk to your Realtor about price, AND about strategies in terms of:

  • Earnest money deposit
  • Whether or not to waive home inspection
  • Whether or not to waive financing contingency
  • Whether or not to waive appraisal contingency
  • Closing date
  • Escalation clauses
  • Introduction letters
  • Other important terms to the seller (example: they may want to rent back for a short time)
  • Finding homes to buy that are off market or before they hot the market

Sellers – preparing your home & pricing right up front will net you the MOST. Talk to your Realtor about strategies to elicit multiple offers. (Click here for an INSTANT online value estimate of your home and then call 703-242-3975 for a FREE personalized consultation.)

P.S. – Beware of selling on your own without a Realtor. You may save commission dollars, but you will likely net less on your bottom line. According to NAR, only 2% of Buyers purchased a home from a Seller they didn’t already know. 92% of Buyers used the internet and of those, 95% used an agent, builder or builder’s agent. So selling on your own can severely limit your exposure and consequently your final yield.


Keeping in mind the definitions that less than 3 months inventory is a Seller’s Market, 3-6 months is a Balanced Market, and more than 6 months is a Buyer’s Market – where do the towns and cities of Northern Virginia stand today:

Buyer’s Markets

  • Great Falls – 6.7 months

Balanced Markets

  • Dunn Loring – 5 months
  • McLean – 4 months

Seller’s Markets

  • Alexandria – 1.6 months
  • Annandale – 1.4 months
  • Arlington – 1.8 months
  • Ashburn – 1.8 months
  • Burke – 1.1 months
  • Centreville – 1.1 months
  • Chantilly – 1.5 months
  • Clifton – 2.7 months
  • Fairfax Station – 1.5 months
  • Falls Church – 1.7 months
  • Herndon – 1.4 months
  • Oakton – 2.1 months
  • Reston – 1.4 months
  • Springfield – 1 month
  • Sterling – Less than 1 month
  • Vienna – 2.7 months

Search our state of the art home finder site where listings are updated FASTER than other sites.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in this “cray-cray” market, email or call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We specialize in real estate success stories. We’ll help you make the BEST move in today’s market.

Top Realtors Northern VA

Homebuyers Are On Borrowed Time, Sellers Take Note

Buyers Market or Sellers Market

If you’re thinking of buying a home in 2015, you may want to do it sooner rather than later. Why is that? Well, according to Gary Keller, Chairman of the Board of the world’s largest real estate company, “Home buyers are on borrowed time.” Keller made this comment back in February at Keller Williams Realty’s annual gathering of top associates from around the world as part of his economic update.

In case you’re thinking the comment made by Keller may have been self-serving just to encourage urgency among potential homebuyers, you might be interested to know that the Federal Reserve’s moves last week seem to corroborate Keller’s statement. From The Washington Post on March 19th: “The Federal Reserve cleared the way Wednesday for raising interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.” The Fed was clear that a rate hike is not immediate or even imminent, but they definitely opened the door for that to happen this year. And as we see the economy improve, we also believe this will happen.

CEO The Belt TeamTerry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team says he is “advising our serious buyers that NOW is the time to buy. Rising interest rates, combined with rising home values mean that buying later will equal lower affordability and much less house. It is for this reason that we are also advising Sellers to sell sooner rather than later. If and when interest rates rise, some home buyers will be priced out of the market. And while home values are projected to rise in 2015, the projected rise is very moderate – about 3%, as compared to the 11% rise we saw in some areas over the past few years.”

Today, we spoke with Christine Todd, CEO of the Northern VA Association of Realtors (the 11th largest association in the U.S.). She told us that housing inventory in Northern VA is at a five year low and that throughout Northern VA, inventory is at 2 months. Two months of inventory translates to a Seller’s Market. That puts Sellers in the driver’s seat – making now a fabulous time to sell. It also means that Buyers have less options and it make take more time to find your dream home. And unlike the Rolling Stones song “Time Is On My Side”, it may only be a matter of time before rates rise. Another reason why waiting may not be to your benefit.

Whether you’re buying or selling, there are challenges on both ends. Buyers seek guidance on getting through credit hurdles, loan approvals and financing options. They need advocates who can advise on how to best compete, what their options are and how to find homes not already on the market. They want the RIGHT home. And while it sounds good to be a Seller during a Seller’s market (and it is!) – you still want to make sure you don’t leave money on the table and that once you are under contract, your sale actually goes to closing. THIS is where a top notch Realtor makes a difference and why the number of people selling by owner has gone down year after year.

The Belt Team has navigated the Northern Virginia real estate market since 1973. We have serious, long-term, committed Realtors on our team who are here to educate, navigate and advocate for you. When you read our online reviews, we think you’ll soon see why it’s in your best interests to work with what we think is the best real estate team in Northern VA. Our mission statement is “Changing Lives For The Better”. If it’s time to change yours, give Terry Belt & The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. It would be a pleasure for our family to help your family make the right move. And that right move just might be NOW!

Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Virginia

Are We In A Buyer’s Market or A Seller’s Market In Northern VA?

Northern VA Real Estate Market Fluctuation

When we meet with our Buyers & Sellers for their initial consultation, one of the things we talk about is what’s happening nationally, regionally and locally in the real estate market – how much homes are selling for, what’s on the market, and how fast homes are selling. The question that comes up most often is “Are we in a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?”

First, let’s define the terms:

“Balanced Market”: is a real estate market where there is about 6 months of housing inventory. There is no real advantage to one side or the other.

“Buyer’s Market”: is a real estate market where there are more homes on the market than there are Buyers, so much so that Buyers have the upper hand in negotiating and can often get a deal. Typically, a “Buyer’s Market” is defined as more than 6 months of housing inventory.

“Seller’s Market”: is a real estate market where there are a plethora of Buyers and not many homes on the market. This means Sellers have the advantage and this is a market where we see competing offers on many homes. Typically, a “Seller’s Market” is defined as less than 3 months of housing inventory.

So where are we today in Northern VA?

(Search Homes For Sale in Northern VA On Our State-of-the-Art Search Site)

In most areas in Northern VA (Alexandria, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Dunn Loring, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Reston, Springfield, Sterling & Vienna) – housing inventory is less than 2 months and we are in a Seller’s Market.

In Oakton, housing inventory is just under 3 months, which is technically also a Seller’s Market – but there are pockets – with some neighborhoods &  price ranges that are seeing a Balanced Market and others seeing a Seller’s Market.

In Great Falls & McLean, housing inventory is 6 months & 3 months respectively – so technically a Balanced Market. However, note that as you go up in price range, there are HUGE variances and some areas are actually still seeing a Buyer’s Market.

Here are the stats for each city in Northern VA:

CITY # Months Inventory Market
Alexandria 1.6 Seller’s
Arlington 1.8 Seller’s
Ashburn 2.8 Balanced
Burke 1.3 Seller’s
Centreville 1.1 Seller’s
Chantilly 1.3 Seller’s
Dunn Loring 2 Seller’s
Fairfax 1.1 Seller’s
Falls Church 1.5 Seller’s
Great Falls 6 Balanced
Herndon 1.8 Seller’s
McLean 3 Balanced
Oakton 2.5 Seller’s
Reston 1.3 Seller’s
Springfield 0.8 Seller’s
Sterling 1.2 Seller’s
Vienna 1.5 Seller’s

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a detailed analysis on YOUR neighborhood. After all, it’s only the area you live in or WANT to live in that matters!

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What Does A Shift In The Market Mean For Home Buyers?

In Northern VA, the housing market has shifted into a strong Seller’s market; so what does this mean for Buyers? Watch this 2 minute video to find out:

 

The one thing we would point out that is slightly different than what you saw in the video, is that The Belt Team recommends that buyers get pre-APRROVED, not just pre-qualified. In order to compete in today’s market, Buyers need to be fully approved for their mortgage and have a full approval letter from their lender BEFORE they write a contract.

Tom Reilly Buyer Specialist Northern VA Real EstateHappy Belt Team Buyer

For more tips on what Buyers can do to succeed in today’s market, contact Belt Team Lead Buyer Specialist Tom Reilly at (703) 629-1263 (or email Tom). His legal and technology background have provided him with some superb strategies that he implements on behalf of his buyers!