Skip to main content

Sep 2017 Real Estate Newsletter

By October 18, 2017October 12th, 2022No Comments

The DC metro area housing market has been very active this year. From January to July this year, the median sold price reached a 2017 peak in Montgomery County, MD (+2.6%, to $446,500), DC (+4.1%), and Fairfax County (+1.9% as a result of a 5.4% jump in May). The median sold price in Arlington, however, has decreased slightly to $625,000 (-0.3%) in the year ending July 2017. The Days On Market metric has continued to decrease since 2015, indicating a supply-demand imbalance. The inventory shortage in medium-priced homes will most likely continue through at least the end of 2017.  

According to David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the firm’s index committee, “home prices continue to climb and outpace both inflation and wages”. As the median price for sold properties has grown, prices for new lots have also increased. When higher labor costs, and the aforementioned supply shortage in the DC metro area are also factored in, buyers should expect the price of newly constructed homes in this area to rise further. If you are considering buying a new construction home, it’s probably better to buy sooner rather than to wait for a possible price dip. 

The thirty-year mortgage rate is still low, we continue to see a high level of refinancings in the DC metro area. The growing economy, now in its 97th month (i.e., 8 full years) of expansion, as well as eventual Fed balance sheet normalization and hikes in the federal fund rate, could push rates higher. However, continued low inflation and rising geopolitical concerns exert downward pressure.

Blitzer believes “housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000 to 2006: price increases vary across the country unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.”

We have started to see more mortgage brokers offering new loan programs to attract potential buyers. Examples include 0% down loans for doctors during their residencies and unbeatable low interest rates for premium customers holding large account balances or receiving high monthly payroll deposits. While the doctor and premium customers may be good credits, however, I find certain other 0% down loans being offered by some mortgage brokers worrisome.

The DC metro area is said to be in the running to host Amazon’s new headquarters. Should DC best its competitors, this would be a major boon for the housing market.

Stay tuned….

Fall is coming, are you prepared?
– Leaf sweep.
– Cloth dryer duct cleaning. Dusty dryer vent is a potential fire hazard.
– Good time to plant, trim or move a tree or bush. You may get some attractive discounts from Home Depot or nursery stores!
– Chimney sweep. Cleaning the chimney every 3 years is recommended if you use it regularly in the winter.

– Best season to repair or replace siding