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.  

Crystal Ball Forecast for The 2016 Northern VA Real Estate Market

Northern VA Real Estate Forecast 2016

But we’re going to do it anyway!

At this time of year, our phone starts ringing off the hook looking for our CEO, Terry Belt, asking for his forecast of what this year in real estate will hold. And while his crystal ball may be as imperfect as everyone else’s, he has weathered 28 years in the Northern VA real estate market and done it uber successfully. This brings with it a good look in the rear view window, but at the same time an ability to spot & react to trends quickly.

Realtor The Belt Team     Real Estate Predictions

Here are Terry Belt’s Top Predictions For The 2016 Northern VA Real Estate Market

  • Over all, we’ll see a good year in Northern VA. The national and local press are all telling “feel good” real estate stories and this is great as it resonates positively for consumer confidence, which is a huge factor in the market.
  • The first half of the year will bring a very healthy market. I predict the second half of the year will soften as inventory grows.
  • We will see slower appreciation than we have seen the past 5 years. Statistics for the past five years for various Northern VA markets are on our web site:

(FREE – How Much Is My Home Worth)

Wild Cards – Things To Watch: 

  • Interest rates (already up once and likely to continue rising)
  • Stock market
  • Job creation, especially locally where we are trailing the nation
  • Inventory

(Our FREE state-of-the-art buyer search site)

My Advice To 2016 Buyers & Sellers:

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in 2016, the absolute most important thing you can do is to make sure you have the best Realtor representing & advocating for you. There’s a lot to navigate along the way – appraisals, surveys, legal disclosures, when to sell, how to price, how to stage, what to disclose, what not to disclose, mortgage financing, how to compete and more. Every market has its own ins & outs & idiosyncrasies.

According to NAR, 90% of homes are sold by 10% of the Realtors. So my advice to clients, whether they are buying here in Northern VA or across the country in California or even across the ocean in Europe – is to make sure you work with the best. You know they’re the best when they’re in that top echelon of performers. The more transactions a team does, the more prepared they are to be your advocate and help you navigate successfully.

Buying or selling a home is often one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, financial transactions of your lifetime – not to mention the emotional importance of your home and family. Do it right!

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.)

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!

I Want Buy A Home & Schedule a FREE Buyer Consultation

I Want To Sell A Home & Schedule a FREE Seller Consultation

FREE – How Much Is My Home Worth

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

Crystal Ball Predictions for The Northern VA Real Estate Market

Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” Peter Drucker

But we’re going to do it anyway!

At this time of year, our phone starts ringing off the hook looking for our CEO, Terry Belt, asking for his forecast of what this year in real estate will hold. And while his crystal ball may be as imperfect as everyone else’s, he has weathered 27 years in the Northern VA real estate market and done it uber successfully. This brings with it a good look in the rear view window, but at the same time an ability to spot & react to trends quickly.

Realtor The Belt Team     Real Estate Predictions

Here are Terry Belt’s Top 3 Predictions For Northern VA Real Estate in 2014:

1. Buyers Will Continue To Compete For Homes

Last year Northern Virginia experienced a market where housing inventory was low year round. Inventory rose slightly during the Spring, but pent up demand meant that many of the homes were snapped up as they hit the market. I expect that to continue in 2014. Although we experienced a market where buyers were competing for homes back in the 90’s and again at the height of the market in 2006, this market is different in that the number of homes selling is much less. Homes sold quickly in those earlier markets, but new homes came on the market to replace them. Currently, we still have demand left over from the downturn, as well as new purchasers entering the market, and there are large numbers of buyers just sitting and waiting for homes to come on the market. Many of these buyers have been looking for months & months. The number of homes coming on the market just cannot keep up with the demand.

The question will be whether that will continue to drive up prices or whether rising interest rates will price some of these buyers out of the market. Keep in mind that a 1% rise in interest rates equals a 10% decrease in home price affordability. Stay tuned to see how that plays out. In the immediate short term, look for early Spring market conditions to be very similar to 2013.

(Our FREE state-of-the-art buyer search site)

2. More Northern VA Homeowners Will Emerge From Underwater

Home prices in Northern VA continued to rise last year and I believe this trend will continue in 2014. From 2011 to 2012, the median price rose 4.82%. And from 2012 to 2013, the median price rose 7.13%. This is good news for homeowners who were underwater. If you tried to sell unsuccessfully during the years 2008-2011, your golden ticket may just be cashed this year.

(FREE – How Much Is My Home Worth)

3. Interest Rates Will Rise, But Mortgages May Be More Accessible

For several years, we have had interest rates at historical lows. This will not last. In fact, we have already seen rates rising. While this may price some buyers out of the market, it actually may work in reverse for other buyers. The silver lining to rising interest rates is that means less refinancing business for lenders; and that may result in lenders loosening their standards in order to compete. Just this week, we were notified by several of our lenders of new programs they are offering that are more flexible than what we have seen over the past few years.

Wild Cards: 

  • If home prices continue upward and more sellers put their homes on the market, this could help alleviate the low inventory problem for buyers adding a little more balance to the market. 
  • The market will continue to do well if the local economy and jobs remain positive.  Should this change it would have a slowing effect on housing.

My Advice To 2014 Buyers & Sellers:

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in 2014, the absolute most important thing you can do is to make sure you have the best Realtor representing & advocating for you. There’s a lot to navigate along the way – appraisals, surveys, legal disclosures, when to sell, how to price, how to stage, what to disclose, what not to disclose, mortgage financing, how to compete and more. Every market has its own ins & outs & idiosyncrasies.

According to NAR, 90% of homes are sold by 10% of the Realtors. So my advice to clients, whether they are buying here in Northern VA or across the country in California or even across the ocean in Europe – is to make sure you work with the best. You know they’re the best when they’re in that top echelon of performers. The more transactions a team does, the more prepared they are to be your advocate and help you navigate successfully.

Buying or selling a home is often one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, financial transactions of your lifetime – not to mention the emotional importance of your home and family. Do it right!