An Update from Terry Belt…

What are we seeing happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market? Here’s an update from Terry Belt about what is happening and how we are adjusting to meet the needs of our clients.

Don’t forget, The Belt Team is here to help…real estate related or not! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 703-242-3975 or info@thebeltteam.com.

Please stay safe and healthy everyone!

The Belt Team is Here to Help!

Dear Belt Team Clients, Friends and Family, 

During this uncertain time, the world is definitely changing but the real estate market in our area is still active and moving. And…The Belt Team is still open for business! After being in business for over 50 years, we have been through challenging and unpredictable times before and we have learned the real estate market never drops to “zero”. Why? Because we work with people in the “traditional” market, meaning they have to buy and sell because of life changes. Even during this difficult time, that is not going to change. Housing is an essential need and we are here to help.  

We are well positioned to make the necessary modifications to accommodate the needs of our clients and business partners because of our extensive use of technology in our business as well as our years of experience. Along with implementing recommended sanitizing measures for in-person meetings, open houses, and showings, we are excited to be able to continue to offer virtual options for our services which we have been doing for certain people even before the Coronavirus arrived. We can conduct virtual buyer and seller consultations, virtual tours/open houses for our seller clients, virtual showings for our buyer clients, etc. As for our partners in the industry, mortgage and title companies, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, photographers, etc.. .they are still operating and business is creatively being done. These companies are also taking all necessary precautions and adjusting as needed for their clients. We have great relationships with our lenders and title companies and are in touch with them daily to ensure that our clients are able to complete their transactions. 

Our local markets are still very healthy. The inventory of homes before now was so historically low and real demand for housing so high that we have not yet seen a negative impact on the housing market. Aggregate showing activity has decreased as those that are not buying now are not browsing as much; however, the real buyers who need housing now continue unabated and we continue to see a homes go under contract quickly. Bottom line, if you are needing/wanting to buy and/or sell we recommend acting NOW before things possibly change that affect available housing, access to housing, interest rates and loan qualifying criteria, and the unpredictable.  

We know there are going to be people that need to buy or sell because of life circumstances and these people have been the lifeblood of our business. So, if you or anyone you know fits this category, we would love to connect, share our market knowledge and create a customized strategy to make your real estate needs and dreams come true. You can reach us at Info@TheBeltTeam.com or 703-242-3975

And, of course, if there is anything non real estate related that we can do to help you through this time, please DO NOT hesitate to reach out.  

Please stay safe and healthy as we all look forward to the better times ahead!   

Terry, Gail, Beth, Patty and Sarina

The Belt Team

Coronavirus and the Real Estate Market

How is the coronavirus affecting the real estate market? Terry Belt shares what we are seeing in Northern Virginia. Give him a call at 703-242-3975 to discuss your goals and create a strategy during this challenging time for everyone.

Thinking of Buying or Selling: Three Things You Need to Know From the Experts

Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today | MyKCM

Shifting trends and industry-leading research are pointing toward some valuable projections about the status of the housing market for the rest of the year.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to know what experts are saying is on the horizon, here are the top three things to put on your radar as we head into the coming months:

  1. Home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate: Home prices have been appreciating for about ten years now. Experts at the Home Price Expectation Survey, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae are forecasting continued growth throughout the next year, although it should be leveling-off to normal appreciation (3.6%), as we move into 2020.
  2. Interest rates are low: Over the past 30 years, the average mortgage rate in the United States has been 8.27%, and rates even peaked as high as 18% in the 1980s. Today, at 3.81%, the rate is considerably lower than the historical 30-year average. Although experts predict it may climb into the low 4% range in the near future, that’s still remarkably lower than our running average, suggesting a great time to get more for your money over the life of your loan.
  3. An impending recession does not mean there will be a housing crash: Although expert research studies such as those found in the Duke Survey of American CFOs and the National Association of Business Economics, are pointing toward a recession beginning within the next 18 months, a potential recession isn’t expected to be driven by the housing industry. That means we likely won’t experience a devastating housing crash like the country felt in 2008. Expert financial analyst Morgan Housel tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today | MyKCM

In fact, during 3 of the 5 last U.S. recessions, housing prices actually appreciated:

Bottom Line

With prices appreciating and low interest rates available, it’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home. Let’s get together to discuss how you can take the next step in the exciting journey of homeownership!

Call or Text The Belt Team at 703-242-3975! Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!” And we LOVE creating Real Estate Success Stories for our clients.  

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – March 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 March.

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!

Mid-Atlantic Region March 2019 home sales:

11,647 homes went under contract in the region. This is up significantly (30.59%) from the same time period in 2018!

26% of the homes that went to settlement in March 2019, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market. 

• Average sold price was $404,518 (up 2.6% from the same time period in 2018 when it was $394,114)

20,338 homes came on the market. That’s down 1.4% from March 2018.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 70 days on market, 11 days faster than in March of 2018.

• There is currently a 2.5 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 28,094 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s Market.  The inventory continues to be low favoring sellers.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the numbers of our local market areas, and see if there continues to be segments that are experiencing a somewhat different market.  The upper-end price points in some areas have been experiencing more of a Balanced (even Buyers in some cases) market where prices are not appreciating and properties are sitting on the market longer.  Whereas the lower price points have less inventory and homes are selling much faster.  

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

Remember…if you are thinking of buying and/or selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975) to make sure you are working with an agent that will provide you with the data you need to make good decisions. The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. All of this data about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why.  If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be successful in the upper ranges where there is a more abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – February 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 February.

Please call 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!

11,840 homes went under contract in the region. This is down 1.94% from the same time period in 2018.

19% of the homes that went to settlement in February 2019, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market. 

14,043 homes came on the market. That’s down 3.07% from February 2018.

Homes that sold (closed) averaged 78 days on market, 9 days slower than in February of 2018.

There is currently a 2.4 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 26,637 homes for sale (townhouse, condo, and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region remains in a Seller’s Market.  The inventory continues to be low favoring sellers.

However, as you dig deeper into the numbers of our local market areas, you will find segments that are experiencing somewhat different market conditions.  The upper-end price points in some areas are experiencing more of a Balanced (even Buyers in some cases) market where prices are not appreciating and properties are sitting on the market longer.  Whereas the lower price points are less inventory and homes are selling much faster. 

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

And…if you are thinking of buying and/or selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975) to make sure you are working with an agent that will provide you with the data you need to make good decisions. The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. All of this data about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why.  If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be successful in the upper ranges where there is a more abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

BUYERS: Did you know that Belt Team Buyers are eligible for our FREE Priority Notification List for new listings not yet in the MLS?! Call 703-242-3975 for details.

SELLERS: Call The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 for our FREE Report “42 Questions To Ask Your Realtor BEFORE You Sell”. And find out how our listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than the average agent’s listings. Or Text BELT to 59559 for a FREE home valuation!

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – January 2019

On The Belt Team, we take pride in being your local real estate “experts”!  Part of that involves staying on top of market stats & trends.  In this post, and on a monthly basis, we will share with you some of the home sale statistics we watch in our region and in our own backyard.  

10,689 homes went under contract in the region. This is down 1.54% from the same time period in 2018. 

16% of the homes that went to settlement in January 2019, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.

Average sold price was $396,337 (up 6.69% from the same time period in 2018 when it was $371,497)

12,625 homes came on the market. That’s up 3.14% from January 2018.

Homes that sold (closed) averaged 78 days on market, 12 days slower than in January of 2018.

There is currently a 2.3 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 26,560 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region is still in a Seller’s Market.  The inventory remains low…advantage Sellers!

However, as you dig deeper into the numbers of our local market areas, you will find segments that are experiencing somewhat different market conditions.  The upper-end price points in some areas are experiencing more of a Balanced (even Buyers in some cases) market where prices are not appreciating and properties are sitting on the market longer.  Whereas the lower price points are seeing appreciation, there is less inventory and homes are selling much faster.  

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

And…if you are thinking of buying and/or selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975) to make sure you are working with an agent that will provide you with the data you need to make good decisions. The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. All of this data about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why.  If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be successful in the upper ranges where there is a more abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

BUYERS: Did you know that Belt Team Buyers are eligible for our FREE Priority Notification List for new listings not yet in the MLS?! Call 703-242-3975 for details.

SELLERS: Call The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 for our FREE Report “42 Questions To Ask Your Realtor BEFORE You Sell”. And find out how our listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than the average agent’s listings.

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.

FREE INSTANT ONLINE HOME VALUATION

Search Homes For Sale on our State-of-the-Art Search Site (It’s updated faster and more often than other sites!)

Top Realtor Vienna VA

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:

************************************************************************************************

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.

********************************************************************************************

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!

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