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.  

National Numbers Are In – Home Sales Down, Prices Up, Interest Rates Rise

The national real estate numbers are in and here’s what we see in the macromarket:

  • Number of Home Sales Down
  • Median Home Price Up
  • Interest Rates Up

This makes it a GREAT time to sell. And homebuyers might not want to keep waiting. Time to hop off the fence! Here are the details. (If you’re buying or selling NOW, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 for info on YOUR local market. Local micromarkets often vary from the national norm.)

National Numbers Are In – Home Sales Up, Prices Up, Rates Down

The national real estate numbers are in and here’s what we see in the macromarket:

  • Number of Home Sales Up
  • Median Home Price Up
  • Interest Rates Down

This makes it a GREAT time to sell. Here are the details. (If you’re buying or selling NOW, call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 for info on YOUR local market. Local micromarkets often vary from the national norm.)

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!

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Northern VA Home Sales Down, Prices Up in First Quarter of 2014

First quarter statistics have been released. In most areas the number of homes sold in the first quarter of 2014 was down compared to first quarter 2013. However, in most areas, prices rose. Only 3 areas saw an increase in home sales: Dunn Loring, Centreville & Springfield. In every other Northern Virginia city, home sales declined year over year. On the other hand, prices were up in all cities except three: Ashburn, Great Falls & McLean. The other areas saw average prices rise from 2.1% to 10.2%. (See chart below for sales & prices in each city.)

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Northern VA Home Sales

Northern VA 2013 Sales 2014 Sales Yr Over Yr Avg SP 2013 Avg SP 2014 Yr Over Yr
Alexandria 951 867 -9% $451,880 $488,773 8%
Arlington 536 486 -9% $570,179 $585,200 2.6%
Ashburn 331 253 -24% $466,963 $462,281 -1.0%
Burke 96 114 19% $415,793 $426,403 2.6%
Centreville 173 182 5% $354,407 $372,015 5.0%
Chantilly 166 144 -13% $429,711 $463,140 7.8%
Dunn Loring 2 4 100% $882,500 $834,000 -5.5%
Fairfax 414 344 -17% $463,841 $488,611 5.3%
Falls Church 282 251 -11% $466,898 $476,777 2.1%
Great Falls 55 25 -55% $1,248,293 $1,108,758 -11.2%
Herndon 138 124 -10% $419,152 $447,186 6.7%
McLean 143 128 -10% $1,135,881 $931,091 -18.0%
Oakton 54 48 -11% $509,763 $562,012 10.2%
Reston 194 190 -2% $427,210 $441,990 3.5%
Springfield 208 232 12% $395,386 $428,874 8.5%
Sterling 211 194 -8% $349,394 $379,676 8.7%
Vienna 140 129 -8% $718,021 $733,301 2.1%

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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Honey I Shrunk The Real Estate Market! But By How Much?

If you’re actively looking to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia right now, then you are very aware the market is tight. We have a LONG list of buyers looking for homes. And many Sellers who go on the market are selling quickly. Last Friday we put a home on the market and by Sunday we had 6 contracts. The home sold for almost 5% above list price!

In 2013, the market was also tight in many areas. But we were curious how this year compares to the past. So we ran some stats. Here’s a market snapshot of January sales from 2010 – 2014. What you’ll see is that in Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, closed sales & contracts were the lowest in 5 years. The same was true for Fairfax City And Alexandria City. Falls Church City was the only exception.

January Contract Snapshot Alexandria City Real Estate Sales 2010 to 2014

January Contract Snapshot Arlington County Real Estate Sales 2010 to 2014

January Contract Snapshot Fairfax City Real Estate Sales 2010 to 2014

January Contract Snapshot Fairfax County Real Estate Sales 2010 to 2014

January Contract Snapshot Falls Church City Real Estate Sales 2010 to 2014

January Contract Snapshot Loudoun County Real Estate Sales 2010 to 2014

BUYERS:

In a market like this, Buyers need every advantage they can get. That’s why we launched a state-of-the-art home search web site. We had so many buyers coming to us after looking on other sites and finding outdated info or worse – after homes sold that they never even knew were on the market. When the market shrinks like it has, homes sell quickly. The first buyer in the door is poised to win. Our site updates more frequently than others and so our Buyers have the advantage. (They also have the advantage of our Secret Weapon – the “Showing Partner Model“!)

SELLERS:

On the other side of the coin, Sellers need to ensure their equity is not only protected, but maximized. How do they do this? Work with seasoned, proven professionals. And ask lots of questions.

Just because an agent sells a lot of homes, does NOT mean they are the best agent for you. (As an example, there are 3 top agents in the Vienna/Oakton area. The Belt Team is #1, but Agent/Team #2 and Agent/Team #3 have sold a ton of homes and have been in the market for many years. However, our statistics are vastly different. Last year, The Belt Team’s listings sold more than a month faster. AND they sold for 4-5% more than the other two agents’ listings.)

Questions To Ask:

  • How many homes have you sold?
  • What was the average days on market?
  • What percent of list price did you average?
  • How do all of these compare to the market in general?
  • (Call 703) 242-3975 for a FREE REPORT with our entire list of interview questions

In addition to getting information from the agents you’re talking to, find out what real buyers & sellers have to say about their experience with each agent. A good place to start is on 3rd party web sites like Zillow.com. Unlike the agents’ own web sites, the agent can’t post reviews directly on Zillow. Consumers post reviews and they are published by Zillow with no input from the agent. So you’re likely to get a good idea of what it’s like to work with each agent. (Reviews about The Belt Team.)

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Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We’re happy to help you create a plan to buy or sell that’s the RIGHT plan for YOU!

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Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

Vienna Real Estate – 2003 to 2013 Stats

As we head into the New Year – it’s a good time to look back over the past 10 years and see what has happened in Vienna real estate. Here are the highlights:

HOME PRICES:

Prices are rising. The average price in Vienna rose 9% over the previous year and is higher than it was at the top of the market in 2006.

Vienna Home Prices Rising

NUMBER OF HOME SALES:

Inventory is still a challenge in Vienna and is keeping sales WAY below what they were at their peak. That being said, sales for each of the past two years have been up over the previous year, but rose only 1% over the previous year.

How Many Homes Sold In Vienna VA

DAYS ON MARKET:

Homes continue to sell quickly in Vienna. In 2013, homes sold in an average of 40 days – faster than in any other year since 2005. (Note: Belt Team listings sold in an average of 5 days – AND at a higher percentage of list price than average!)

How Fast Are Homes In Vienna Selling

SOLD PRICE AS PERCENTAGE OF LIST PRICE

Sellers in 2013 garnered a higher percentage of list price than in any year since 2005 – 98.19%. (For example, if a home was listed at $900,000 – the average Seller would have sold it for $883,710. Note that Belt Team Sellers garnered 99.2% of list price. So that same Seller would have sold for $892,800 and put an extra $9,090 in their pocket!)

Vienna Home Sale Stats

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FREE – How Much Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Contact our CEO, Terry Belt about selling your home in Vienna.

Contact our Senior Buyer Specialist, Tom Reilly about buying a home in Vienna.

Want To Sell Your Home A Month Faster Than Your Competition?

Here’s your quick one minute update on the national housing market AND what KW Research shows will sell your home a month faster than your competition!

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 or click here if you want to know the market value of your Northern Virginia home.