The REAL Market Update

Lot’s of Christmas cheer for home sellers!

It’s not exactly coal in the stocking for buyers but it is a highly competitive market for the good properties.  Reputable well known local lenders and title companies and a top notch real estate broker coordinating things have never, never been more important to your prospects of getting a home.  More often than not I can tell you as a lister it’s not the highest priced contract the sellers ultimately selected.  And buyers still have historically low interest rates and ever more liberal quality financing options.

Inventory has finally done it’s seasonal leveling off as we are down to 2,636 houses in the region which represents a 10% decline from last year.  Ouch.  Yet despite the inventory levels and the pandemic sales are up 31% week over week and 27% month over month.  That is just incredible and bodes well for a continued healthy market.

We do have a couple of major events and/or influencers on the horizon in the next month or so.  The first is the governor has once again clamped down on local businesses, many of whom have incredibly made it this far but who might not be able to weather it this time.  The second counter balance is the expected roll out of the several vaccine options.  This could be incredibly positive.  The last is that the calendar is fixing to flip.  Trends emerge when a whole bunch of people come to the same conclusions at the same time and act on them and new years provide an opportunity for reflection and analysis that often engenders these trends.  This year will be no different.  I’m curious to see what everyone thinks on January 2nd.  We all know attitudes drive behavior.

I will once again touch on the prospects of a broad market reversal.  There is just nothing there right now to indicate anything like that is coming.  I’ve commented on this extensively in previous posts but here’s a couple of the markers I’m looking at and reporting on.  There are only 11 short sales and 7 foreclosures in the entire northern virginia region.  That’s it!  According to CoreLogic mortgages which were in major delinquencies leveled off for the first time since the start of the pandemic.  Forbearance programs are doing their jobs and when those end most homeowners will have enough equity to sell if that is what they need to do.

Also true conforming and jumbo conforming loan limits are going up again.  $548,250 for true conforming and $822,375 for jumbo conforming.  That means you could probably go to 1M to 1.1M with 5% down which is crazy given the tightness of money earlier in the year.

So all in all an excellent market and lots of reasons for optimism for this holiday season!

It’s a good life.

Chris