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Our mission at The Gresh Group is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

An Update on Our Fall 2018 Real Estate Market


As we head into fall, we wanted to bring you a closer look at the real estate market. Here’s what you need to know.

Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

If you've been thinking of selling your home, you'll want to keep listening. Today I’ll show you how to get a significant advantage over a lot of other home sellers in the market today.

First, let me give you a bit of background on the current conditions in the (area) housing market:

1. Mortgage rates have hit a 7-year high. Several weeks ago, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate broke through the 4.6%-mark—the highest level since May 2011. This is part of an ongoing upward trend in mortgage rates, which started over a year ago. In spite of the rate increase, mortgage applications spiked in September. This is a signal that buyers expect rates to go up even more in the near future.

2. Affordability is dropping, and demand might soon follow. For the past several years, home prices have increased at twice the speed of inflation. For a while, this didn't have too much of an effect on the market because there was so much pent-up demand. Affordability is suffering—an estimate from early summer put current home affordability levels at a 10-year low.    

If you’ve been thinking about selling, the time to act is now.

3. More home sellers are reducing prices. Not surprisingly, the combination of sustained high prices, increasing mortgage rates, and a drop in demand is finally starting to have an impact on the real estate market. More than a quarter of homes listed as of September 16 had a price drop. 

What does this all mean for you? In short, if you've been thinking of selling your home, then the time to act is now. In spite of the easing of demand, there are still many hungry buyers on the market and prices remain near all-time highs. This means you can sell your home quickly and for top dollar.

However, all of the reasons I listed earlier mean this situation might not hold very long. Demand might slack off even more and many more homeowners might decide to enter the market, driving down prices and really ushering in a buyer's market. That's why it can make a lot of sense to move early—before this kind of awareness reaches the majority of homeowners. 

If you want specific information about the current Northern Virginia real estate market, or you're mulling over the idea of buying or selling a home, please give me a call at 703-328-3434 or email me at Janet@TheGreshGroup.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

How Mortgage Rates Are Affecting the Market


The average mortgage rate is at a seven-year high. Is this what’s behind the shift we’re seeing in the market?

Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate currently stands at around 4.77%. That's near a seven-year high, and almost 1% higher than just a year ago. This is the result of a steady rise starting last September and ending this May.


What impact is this having on the real estate market? It's certainly true that affordability is down. In fact, one estimate from June found that home affordability is at a 10-year low. This is translating into fewer home sales, fewer viewings, and fewer mortgage applications.

However, I don't believe that the shifts in the mortgage rate is the primary mover of the changes we're seeing in the real estate market. In fact, even at its current level, the mortgage rate is still historically low.

Instead, the big reason for the changes in the real estate market is the ongoing growth in prices. Over the past several years, home prices have gone up at close to twice the rate of inflation, and have far outstripped the growth of incomes.   

Over the past several years, home prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation.

The price increases, in turn, have been caused by a lack of inventory, which has been shrinking for the past three years. In my opinion, it’s this lack of inventory (and the resulting hike in prices) that explains most of the effects on the real estate market that I listed above.

If you're looking to sell, you should still have no trouble doing so. Demand continues to outstrip supply, and even with dropping affordability, it's very likely that you would find a buyer quickly and at a top price.

If you're looking to buy, the picture is more complex, because it's so hard to predict what the mortgage rate might do in the near term. One thing we do know is that the severe lack of inventory is unlikely to change any time soon.

If you want specific information about the current Northern Virginia real estate market, or you're mulling over the idea of buying or selling a home, please give me a call at 703-328-3434 or email me at Janet@TheGreshGroup.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Is Northern Virginia Entering a Buyer’s Market?


After being in a seller’s market for quite some time now, it looks like a shift is on the horizon. Here’s what you can expect.

Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

After several years of continuous price gains, the real estate market seems to be reaching its price cap. In June, the last month for which we have complete numbers, 14% of all listings saw a price cut. That's up from a low of 11.7% at the end of 2016.

In the same month, housing demand fell 9.6%, the largest decline in over two years. Mortgage applications to purchase a home have decreased as well. 

A few things are at play here. One is rising mortgage rates, which have been steadily climbing for much of this year. Another is an overall decrease in affordability, resulting from a combination of the growth in home prices and mortgage rates. 

If this is the start of a buyer's market, it's unlikely to be just a momentary blip. One sign of this is that homebuilder sentiment has recently fallen to the lowest point in almost a year. In other words, homebuilders are losing confidence in their business due to the aforementioned affordability concerns.   

This is certainly good news if you’re looking to buy a home.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, it's certainly good news if you're looking to buy, because it means you will have more choice at more affordable prices.

On the other hand, if you've been thinking of selling, this might mean that it’s time to act. Listing your home now would give you the best odds of achieving a top price before the change in the market occurs. 

Remember that all real estate is local. There are big differences even within the Northern Virginia area, and prices can change from block to block.

If you want specific information about the current Northern Virginia real estate market, or you're mulling over the idea of buying or selling a home, please give me a call at 703-328-3434 or email me at Janet@TheGreshGroup.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon.