February Newsletter and Market Update
Didn’t that feel like the fastest January ever? I blinked, and it is already February. It seems like we were just celebrating New Year’s Day yesterday. It must be the pace of the real estate market that makes time fly. This January’s housing market has been the hottest on record. Last month 45% of homes found a new homeowner within two weeks and 35% received a contract within one week. As demand remains strong, the question is – will we have enough inventory to keep up with this demand? Time will tell. If you have thoughts of selling or know someone who wants to sell, now is the time to act. Currently, we only have half a month’s supply of housing available. This means that if no new homes came on the market, everything would be sold in two weeks! The National Association of Realtors says that a 6-month supply of homes is a balanced market. Do you know when the last time we had a 6-month supply of houses was in Northern Virginia? I have been keeping weekly records since March of 2005, and the most supply we have had per month is 4.3 – and that was in January of 2009. At that time, we had 10,129 houses for sale in Northern Virginia. Today we have only 1,069 resales available. Because inventory is so low, we see multiple contracts on virtually every listed home and have showings back-to-back all day long. On one of our recent listings we had more than 50 showings. That means 49 buyers are still looking for a home in Haymarket in the $725,000 price range. If half of the buyers get buyer’s fatigue, there are still 25 people looking for a home. Things didn’t even happen like this last year in the Spring when the market was so frenetic. This market will take time to settle down. Since 1981, the average age range of a first-time buyer has been between 28 and 32; there are 23.5 Millennials in this age group today. Even though the competition is stiff, I can still help if you are considering buying. You have to think outside the box and do some creative and extra work (which I don’t mind doing!) but there are strategies to help you “win” in multiple contract situations and/or identify properties before the bidding starts– just give me a call to learn more!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s a good life.
Tips For Winter Curb Appeal
HGTV.com | By Shannon Petrie
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can slack off on curb appeal. If you’re trying to sell your home during the holiday months, making a good first impression is just as crucial as ever. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing your home’s exterior for a fall or winter sale:
Safety First: First and foremost, you want to ensure that buyers can make it to your front door without any accidents. Prevent slips by clearing your driveway, walkways and stairs of snow, ice and leaves.
A Tidy Lawn: Your grass may no longer be green, but you can still keep your lawn looking neat so buyers can picture what it will look like in the spring and summer. Keep your lawn clean by periodically raking up leaves and other debris.
Clean Gutters: Leaves will accumulate in your gutters in the fall, so clean them out before putting your home on the market to show buyers that you care about exterior home maintenance.
Fresh Paint: Because of bare trees, buyers have a clearer view of your home in the fall and winter than they do in the spring and summer. Faded or chipped paint will really stand out, so give your home a fresh coat if it needs it.
Outdoor Lighting: As the days get shorter, having proper outdoor lighting will make your home safer and more attractive for buyers who come to visit at night. Use a series of path lights to illuminate the way to your front door, or flank the door with decorative sconces or lanterns.
Winter Decorations: A giant inflatable Santa Claus in the front yard is sure to distract buyers, but subtle wintry decorations can bring out the best in your home. Try a simple wreath on the front door, small white lights strung around shrubbery, or a pile of firewood stacked neatly against a wall.
Cold-Weather Plants: Evergreen trees or plants that can stand up to the cold weather such as pansies or witch hazel can liven up a drab landscape.
Recipe of the Month
Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Cauliflower – Pomegranate Salad
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 35 min | Serves 6
1 whole filet of beef
6 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
1 head cauliflower
5 large shallots
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 package baby kale
1/2 c. pomegranate
1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Place the beef on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 475 degrees F for 12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toss 2 tablespoons oil with cauliflower and shallots; season with additional salt and pepper. Quickly scatter vegetables around beef in the pan and continue to bake, stirring vegetables once, 18 more minutes (for medium-rare) or until meat reached desired degree of doneness.
3. Remove beef from pan and cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard; season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir kale into hot pan with vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil mixture and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Slice beef and serve with cauliflower pomegranate salad. Enjoy!
It’s Official: 2021 was the Busiest Home-Buying Year in RE/MAX National Housing Report History
Source: news.remax.com | Samantha Rotbart
The year finished with nearly 10% more home sales than the previous record year of 2020.
The data is in and strong December home sales crowned 2021 as the busiest year for homebuying in the 14-year history of the RE/MAX National Housing Report. According to the latest report, which measured 51 metro areas, December 2021 home sales were the second highest for the month in report history, trailing only December 2020. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest December home transactions could have been even stronger had it not been for record-low inventory.
Contributing to the craze, the year 2021 ended with the smallest number of homes for sale in the 14-year history of the report. The 10 months with the lowest inventory in report history all occurred in 2021. Based on the rate of home sales in December 2021, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 1.2 compared to 1.4 in November 2021, and decreased compared to 2.0 in December 2020. For context, a six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.
The ups and downs of the housing market since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 have proven one thing: homebuyers are resilient – and those who are able to get in the game have wasted no time. Nick Bailey,
President and Chief Executive Officer of RE/MAX, LLC, thinks the hot streak is likely to continue into 2022 but is hopeful more sellers come off the fence to alleviate some of the challenges buyers have been facing for years.
“December capped a fantastic year for home sales. After a busy 2020, we expected 2021 to be even better – and it was. Buyers shrugged off all sorts of potential obstacles – high prices, record-low inventory, stiff competition for available listings – and kept things rolling the entire year.”
Adds Bailey, “The story of housing in 2021 was centered around high demand that led to a substantial increase in sales despite ultra-low supply. What’s promising for 2022 is that many of the factors which drove record sales in 2021 remain in place. Interest rates are still attractive, workplace flexibility continues, and many homeowners are sitting on a mountain of equity. If more of them become sellers, there’s ample reason to think the hot streak will continue. The past two years have proven that buyers are out there and ready to go.”
Only time will tell what the 2022 housing market will bring, but as a RE/MAX agent, I am prepared to navigate any environment on behalf of my clients. Give me a call to learn more.