Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

WooHoo! Let the games begin.

The Spring Equinox has ushered in a frenzy of spring activity with 80 fresh new listings and 70 ratified contracts. A full half of those, 35 exactly, sold within seven days on the market.

That should make both buyers and sellers very happy, although there are many stories of bidding wars and sad buyers who missed out. The craziest story, outside of Arlington, was 61 offers on a fixer-upper townhouse in Dumfries.

The Federal Reserve announced good news for buyers. It won’t raise its short term rate for the foreseeable future. The Fed views the economy as slowing down slightly and doesn’t want to impede growth with rate hikes. That move immediately sent mortgage interest rates lower a full 1/8%. So now a 30-yr fixed rate tops out at 4.375%.

It’s a great time to buy, and to sell.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Right on cue, the inventory floodgates opened this week.

It must be mid-March. That’s when traditional wisdom says it’s time to list your home, the spring market is here, and the buyers are out shopping.

This week sellers listed 70 homes giving buyers the most amount of choices so far this year. And buyers stepped up and ratified 57 contracts, some 19 of those were on homes that were listed for seven days or less. Arlington currently has only 239 homes actively for sale.

At this pace of absorption, that is only one month of inventory meaning if no more homes came on the market, all homes would be sold in one month. It’s also known as an extreme sellers’ market.

Here’s the craziest story heard this week: a $185,000 townhouse in Lorton listed “As Is” attracted 55 offers! It was on the market for five days.

This kind of market attracts every kind of buyer, and we are especially seeing more investors and flippers than usual. They are attracted to homes in need of much work and TLC, the kind of homes that scare away first-time home buyers and are too much work for end users who want fully updated conditions, even in vintage 1920’s-30’s homes. Whatever kind of buyer you may be, prepare for battle. The competition is brutal.

Mortgage rates continued to be kind to buyers this week with no major changes. The 30-yr fixed rate remains at 4.375%-4.5%. Helping to drive buyer activity is available credit. Lenders are flush with cash. So, there is a wide variety of liberal loan programs for all types of buyers enabling much lower down payments than we’ve seen in over 10 years.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

We are not alone.

Arlington’s real estate market is mirrored throughout Virginia and much of the country. In numerous conversations this week with real estate leaders nationally, other markets are seeing major inventory shortages and bidding wars on medium and lower priced homes just as we are.

But at the same time, the higher end market is stagnant if not struggling. Luxury homes (those homes priced in the top 10%) are taking longer to sell and increasingly need price reductions to attract offers.

Right now, Arlington’s market is hot hot hot, and will likely remain so until mid-May. There have been many more stories of multiple offers this week. Some 63 homes were listed this week, while 56 homes sold and 19 of those were gone in a week.

There’s a glimmer of good news for buyers, bad news for home owners. CoreLogic reports that home price appreciation has dropped significantly. While homes are still going up in value, it’s at a much slower pace.

Nationally, appreciation dropped to 4.2% in January compared to 6.8% in January 2018. The price slowdown coupled with stable interest rates at 4.375%-4.5% have improved buyer affordability.

Still, for buyers in Arlington right now it’s a jungle out there. To secure their dream home, they need to move fast, strike hard, and go BIG!

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Arlington’s real estate Spring market is rockin’ and rollin’.

Sellers really stepped up this week and listed 68 homes while buyers ratified 51 contracts. This ratio helps our problem of low inventory but with only 204 homes actively for sale and at the rate of absorption that’s only one month of inventory.

The craziest story heard this week was a nice Cape Cod on S. 4th Street nicely updated and priced at $765,000. It received 30 offers.

How can a buyer compete in this environment? First, get fully approved for your loan. Second, look at homes priced well under your maximum ability so that you give yourself room to escalate upward. Work with a highly trained and experienced agent.

Go BIG on price and remove as many conditions as possible. Ask the sellers what they need and want, and then deliver. Remember, each time you lose, that home becomes the next comp and you get farther behind. Get out ahead of the market just once by going big, and in six months you’ll look like a genius.

Call Team Cathell for a free consultation.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Bidding wars continued to torment buyers this week as the Spring market heats up further.

Some 45 buyers ratified contracts and 16 of those homes were on the market less than a week. Homes receiving more than one offer tended to be in the moderate to lower price range of $750,000 and below.

Sellers did their part by listing 51 homes and helping to rectify our problem of low inventory. With only 195 homes actively for sale in Arlington and at the current rate of absorption, there’s only 1.1 months of supply.

Technically, it should be a strong seller’s market. A market is considered in equilibrium when there’s about 5.5 months of inventory.

Buyers got some good news. Mortgage rates dropped this week to 4.375% for a 30-yr fixed rate. A Federal Reserve report said the Fed does not expect to raise its bank rates for the foreseeable future as it watches carefully the U.S. and global economies.

There were signs this week of a slowing U.S. economy with weak retail sales in the 4th quarter. JP Morgan economists see the U.S. GDP growing at only 1.5% for the 1st quarter after a sluggish 4th quarter of only 1.4%.

But Freddie Mac economist Sam Khater had some good news for buyers saying that nationally “wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years…” Let’s hope that development hits our area soon.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

We’ve barely made it to Valentine’s Day (hope you remembered the flowers) and Arlington’s Spring real estate market has already blown up.

This week sellers listed 42 homes and buyers ratified 58 contracts, and 23 of those were on homes only seven days on the market. More than half the new listings sold within a week! Amazing. And of course there were bidding wars.

What’s a buyer got to do to win? To the best of your ability, go big on price and take out as many contingencies as you can. Remember, every home you lose becomes the comp for the next listing. A buyer needs to get out ahead of the market just once to win, otherwise the buyer gets farther behind.

Interests rates bounced upward a bit this week on news that some inflation factors bumped up. The 30-yr fixed rate is at about 4.5%-4.6%.

Nationally, there are already signs that the housing market is not keeping pace with the strong U.S. economy. The number of sales and total sales volumes are down from last year, which itself was a down year. Some economists point to three reasons: student debt holding back first time home buyers, inventory shortage nationwide and uncertainty about mortgage interest rates.

Buyers and sellers are both effected by these conditions. Many home owners want to sell and either move up, move down, or move out, but they can’t find a suitable replacement home. And home buyers are squeezed by rising prices, no choices, rising mortgage rates and relatively flat household income.

As economists generally agree, the U.S. housing market has a profound influence on the U.S. economy.

When you are thinking of buying or selling real estate, call Team Cathell for a free consultation at (703) 975-2500.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Sellers got the memo this week that Arlington’s Spring real estate market has arrived and they listed 57 homes of all types and prices.

Incredibly, 18 of those homes sold within a week. In total, buyers ratified 43 contracts. Stories are being told in real estate offices of multiple offers on many of those sold this week, some homes attracting 13 offers. Lower to medium priced homes up to $750,000 are more likely to enjoy the bidding wars primarily because there are just more buyers in those price ranges.

Also, in most cases homes in pristine move-in condition get the most attention and sell quickly. Of course all homes will sell when priced properly for their location, size and condition. The abundance of fresh new listings this week helps to improve Arlington’s problem of low inventory.

Nationally, home prices rose just 4.7% last year, according to CoreLogic. That’s the lowest rate of increase since 2012. Rising interest rates and lowered affordability were to blame. “For 2019,” says CoreLogic, “we are forecasting an annual average price growth of 3.4%.”

Arlington should expect a higher rate of appreciation with continued bidding wars fueled by strong housing demand, low inventory and a healthy economy with only 1.9% unemployment. Memo to buyers: the longer you wait, the less home you can afford.

Right now is the best time to buy. Mortgage rates have flattened at 4.5% for a 30-yr fixed mortgage, but could start going up again anytime. With prices rising, the only way a buyer can get ahead of the market is to score a significant boost in their income.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

While Arlington shivers in its coldest temperatures in a decade, home buyers are warmed up and ratifying contracts.

The cold didn’t stop 45 buyers from purchasing homes this week. But home sellers seemed intimidated, listing only 39 properties. This does not help our problem of low inventory. Arlington currently has only 197 homes actively for sale.

At the current rate of absorption, that’s only 1.1 months of supply. This is the lowest level of inventory I have witnessed since the crazy days of 2004. We should start to see this kind of pressure pushing prices higher which is not good news for buyers.

But the Federal Reserve this week delivered some good news that it will hold off raising the short-term bank rate until further notice. That gave Wall Street a bump, lowered yields on U.S. Treasuries and pushed mortgage rates down a few basis points to about 4.5% for a 30-yr fixed rate.

The Fed said it wasn’t as concerned about inflation but is watching “global economic developments.” It lowered its assessment of U.S. economic growth from “strong” to “solid.”

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

It doesn’t seem like it when you look outside, but Arlington’s Spring real estate market is already here.

Eager buyers snatched up 42 homes this week with ratified contracts, several in bidding wars. Some 14 of those homes sold within seven days on the market and sellers listed 38 homes.

Inventory remains very low, and lack of good options is probably holding back a lot of buyers.

Mortgage rates fluctuated based on bond market activity this week but ended up unchanged at 4.5% for a 30-year fixed rate with no points. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) this week report that the number of home sales in 2018 was down nearly 11% from 2017, but home prices still inched upward.

Going into 2019, the biggest factor to affect our housing market will be affordability, according to Freddie Mac. Affordability is a combination of:

  • Rising mortgage rates which erode a buyer’s purchasing power
  • Rising home prices which results from buyer pressure due to low inventory
  • Lack of wage growth to equal or surpass inflation rate

Basically, buyers are getting squeezed by rising home prices, rising mortgage rates and stagnant income. Freddie Mac expects 2019 to see a slight increase in the number of home sales and number of loan applications for purchase. But that’s based on sustained economic growth at its current pace. Everything will change if our economy starts to slow in 2019.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

It may be cold outside but Arlington’s spring market is warming up!

The past week’s snow didn’t slow anyone down: buyers ratified 40 contracts and seller’s listed 31 homes. Of the 40 ratified contracts, 15 sold within a week of hitting the market.

Mortgage rates are in a hold pattern right now at around 4.5% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points. This is still lower than rates we’ve seen in the last 9 months and has spurred an increase in loan applications.

The Washington Post reports this as the highest loan application volume since April of 2010! While loan applications don’t necessarily equal ratified contracts, they are an important indicator. What we do know is that ratified contracts in Arlington increased by 38% since just last week.

The federal government shutdown has impacted access to the usual economic data for lenders and this uncertainty has led to no significant changes to rates. The result of this pause is some surprisingly good news for both buyers and sellers as we are seeing an increase in market activity.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

What a difference a week makes. After our slow start last week, Arlington’s market has sprung into life with 33 new listings and 29 ratified contracts.

And top that off with great news for buyers. Mortgage rates dropped 10 basis points to 4.5% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points which encouraged 20% more buyers to apply for mortgages. These rates are the lowest in nine months. Economists reading the tea leaves anticipate these rates staying steady for quite a while.

Data released by the multiple listing service Bright/MLS indicate the entire DC Metro area experienced an increase in median home sale prices in 2018 over 2017, EXCEPT Arlington. Prices were up 5.9% elsewhere, but were down 2.6% for Arlington. Don’t panic. Your home’s value most likely did not go down. The “median” is the middle point of all the data. Arlington had many more condo sales than detached home sales in 2018, which skewed the median.

The federal government shutdown has not yet had an impact on buyers in our area, but it could if it continues another few weeks as it will be difficult for lenders to verify federal workers income. This could cause delays in lender approval of loan applications.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Happy New Year!

Arlington’s real estate market is coming in like a lamb for 2019, but will likely soon turn into a lion. It was a boring week with only 10 new listings and 19 ratified contracts. Incredibly, there are only 190 active listings of homes for sale and that includes condos, townhomes and single family. We are starting the new year with the lowest level of inventory since the crazy years of 2001-2005.

The national media is reporting a slowdown in the housing market with low inventory, depressed luxury home prices and fewer sales. The consumer confidence index is down slightly and fewer buyers are applying for mortgages.

But locally, the buzz on the street is that Arlington has tremendous pent up demand looking for a place to happen. So, watch out. As soon as fresh inventory starts hitting the market we can expect to see buyers pounce. Don’t be surprised to see bidding wars in the early spring market starting this month.

Buckle up. I think it’s going to be a wild spring.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Happy New Year!

Team Cathell wishes you and your family a fun and safe new year.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always the sleepiest of the year and this week is no exception. Only 10 sellers braved to put their homes on the market this week, but 26 buyers ratified contracts, mostly on homes that had been on the market over 30 days. That raised the average days on market to 46.

Wall Street’s intense volatility this week is credited with lowering mortgage rates yet again. The huge rally on Wednesday revealed investor’s confidence in continued US economic growth going into 2019. Mortgage rates dipped about seven basis points to 4.6% for a 30-yr fixed rate mortgage with no points. That should inspire more home buyers next week to go out and ratify a contract so they can lock in that rate.

As Freddie Mac pointed out yesterday, “the economy remains healthy, so the drop in mortgage rates should stem or even reverse the slide in home sales that occurred during the second half of 2018.”

Hello 2019!

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Team Cathell wishes you and your family a happy and safe holiday weekend.

Don’t worry about Arlington’s real estate market. Although this has been the slowest week of the year for new listings with only 21 sellers putting their homes on the market, it’s doing just fine.

Buyers, however, were very active ratifying 43 contracts, with an average days on market jumping to 77. That’s because many of the homes that sold had been on the market a very long time. So a lot of old inventory got cleared out this week.

Mortgage interest rates dropped 6-10 basis points this week on the news Wednesday that the Federal Reserve raised short term interest rates by 0.25% to help quell inflation jitters. But the Fed also said they expect to raise rates only twice in 2019.

Also influencing the mortgage rate drop was Wall Street’s continued slide this week as investors moved capital out of risky equities and into safe 10-yr U.S. Treasury bonds which drove the yield down. That’s all good for home buyers.

Freddie Mac yesterday credited the lower mortgage interest rates so far this 4th quarter for an increase nationally in existing home sales which had been down 10% from 2017 levels. There’s been a moderate pickup in sales for October and November. All this bodes well for a vibrant spring real estate market, so keep your seat belt fastened.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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Just Listed in Arlington

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

The real estate market in Arlington returned to a normal December pace this week with 34 new listings and 48 ratified contracts.

Sellers generally avoid putting their homes on the market between Thanksgiving and Christmas because historically it’s the slowest time of the year. But for Arlington, the Amazon HQ2 decision has sparked heightened home buyer and investor activity. Of those 48 homes that sold, 10 were gone in less than seven days on market and some of those enjoyed multiple contracts.

Economists from the Fuller Institute at George Mason University said on Wednesday that the Amazon impact on housing will likely not be as broad as many anticipate. They studied the impact in Seattle and found that properties within about 1 mile of Amazon’s HQ experienced about two percent higher value than other areas.

The average Amazon salary in Arlington will be about $150,000 which can support a home price of about $800,000 with today’s mortgage rates. So, the market priced $800,000 and below should see a bump. Also, these new jobs will be phased in over 12-16 years.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates started the week at their lowest since early September at 4.65% for a 30-yr fixed rate, but by the end of this week had inched up 5-10 basis points to about 4.75%.

Click here to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

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