What a year we are having in Northern Virginia real estate!
Inventory remains low – 13% below last year’s inventory levels, yet sales year over year are up 7.7%. We still have low interest rates and new loan programs – including grant programs – that are becoming available to help more people buy homes. Additionally, days on market are down to just 32 days which is unreal. As a result, we only have a two-month’s supply of houses in all of Northern Virginia. These factors, coupled with strong demand, has prices up over 2%. This is very moderate growth in housing prices, which is sustainable, so there is no fear of a bubble here. The projections for housing prices in our area are an increase of nearly 6% from June of 2017 to June of 2018. If you are considering a move, now would be the time!
In July, our sales pace was very comparable to last year sales numbers which were strong – we would like this momentum to continue for our sellers. Historically, August inventory levels have stayed relatively flat, but sales do trend down. Let’s keep an eye out to see if this trend continues.
The one other area to keep an eye on is distressed inventory. Short sales are creeping back into the market. Many people who purchased homes back in 2006 and 2007 did so with interest only loans for 10 years, then they adjust to fully amortized loans over the remaining 20 years. This results in big monthly payment increases. Some of the home values are not back to the original purchase price, so refinancing is not always an option for the owner, hence the increase in short sales. It is a tough situation for many people – let’s see how this impacts the market going forward.
School starts early throughout our region this year, so I hope you are able to take advantage of the few remaining weeks of summer. As always, if you have any specific questions about your situation and the housing market, please feel free to call me anytime.
It’s a good life.