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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’s official and Arlington is abuzz with the excitement that Amazon’s HQ2 is coming to “National Landing”, a newly branded area that includes parts of Crystal City and Pentagon City in Arlington, and Potomac Yards in Alexandria.

A huge congratulations to the dynamic team in Arlington’s Economic Development Division that has been negotiating this deal for several years. And our condolences to residents and neighbors who were in opposition…

Here’s what we know so far: Amazon has decided to split its HQ2 between here and Long Island City in New York. So Amazon will add about 25,000 jobs to northern Virginia over the next 12 years.

About 80% of those workers are expected to be hired locally from the greater DC area, and about 15%-20% hired from outside of the area. We also know, according to a 25 page agreement between Amazon and the Commonwealth of Virginia (Amazon Memorandum of Understanding) that there will be 400 jobs rolled out in 2019 and another 1,180 in 2020.

While all this hype is great for getting everyone fired up about our local housing market and hopefully rustling up more listings for our still under-stocked market, the real question is will 1,580 jobs over two years really make property values jump up over night? Probably not. Have some Amazon employees already started looking at property in our areas? Probably…

Home owners and investors have already begun speculating on the impact that HQ2 will have on our real estate market and home prices. I think the best analysis so far has come from the Stephen Fuller Institute at George Mason University.

“While HQ2 will generate additional demand for housing, its effects will be geographically dispersed and gradual. Even so, the additional demand would likely increase both home sales prices and rental rates, albeit only marginally above the rise that is expected to occur without these households,” according to their initial report.

So what does all of this mean if you’re thinking of selling or have been on the fence about buying? Well that depends on your situation.

If you would like more specific information on how HQ2 may impact your home’s value, call me today and let’s chat! Here’s my direct line: 703-975-2500.

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.”

Arlington’s real estate market revved up this week after coming out of last week’s coma. Buyers ratified 63 contracts and sellers listed 50 homes. But inventory remains painfully low for buyers. With 479 homes actively for sale, and with the current rate of absorption, Arlington has only 1.9 months of inventory indicating it should still be a seller’s market. A market is considered in equilibrium when it has about 5.5 months of inventory.

Arlington is eagerly awaiting Amazon’s decision on HQ2, and hoping the nod will go to Crystal City. Property owners are already expecting their values to increase, but I would urge them to lower their expectations. Most of Amazon’s hiring would be local. Only a small percentage would be hired from outside of the area, so increased demand on housing, if any, would likely be insignificant.

Zillow fans were stunned this week when the website giant announced it lost 26% of its value on Wall Street. It blamed rising interest rates and a downward market shift. It’s revenues from selling leads to agents dropped dramatically. We will all have to wait and see how this plays out.

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.”

Halloween must have scared the bejeebers out of buyers and sellers this week as the pace of Arlington’s real estate market slammed on the brakes. Sellers listed only 49 homes and buyers ratified only 43 contracts.

Arlington’s slow down, however, is not as stark as elsewhere. California, a harbinger of change, has experienced an 18% drop in sales in SoCal, and 19% drop in the Bay Area, but their prices have continued, so far, to climb slightly.

Freddie Mac puts the blame squarely on rising interest rates. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “While higher mortgage rates have led to a decline in home sales this year, the weakness has been concentrated in expensive segments versus entry-level and first-time buyer which remains firm throughout most of the rest of the country.” His comment fairly reflects the Arlington market as well.

Mortgage rates backed off a few basis points this week as Wall Street regained some of its lost value in October. The 30-yr fixed rate conventional with no points is now at about 4.875% to 5%.

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.”

Arlington’s real estate market maintained its fall pace this week with 65 new listings and 52 ratified contracts.

Some 17 of those sold within just seven days including three homes priced well over $1 million. And many homes sold that had been on the market for over 200 days helping to clear out some old inventory. But that raised the Days on Market to 59, the highest we’ve seen in months.

Overall, Arlington’s real estate market has slowed about 10% from last year. While prices have inched up slightly, the number of transactions is down. And it’s not just Arlington. This is showing up as a national trend. The slowdown in housing could be why Wall Street has taken a less optimistic view of the economy and why the Dow has lost 8.5% in value this month.

The good news is that interest rates remained unchanged with no increases. The most prevalent current rate is 5% with no points. When shopping for a loan, be sure to ask about how many points is built in to their interest rate. Most lenders quote a rate but include at least 1/2 point as an upfront cost of the loan.

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.”

Buyers picked up the pace a bit this week by ratifying 58 contracts, while sellers also appeared motivated by listing 61 homes. This is so far the busiest week this fall for Arlington’s real estate market.

The days on market climbed somewhat to 43, reflecting many sales of properties long on the market. One home had been for sale nearly two years.

Buyers should be motivated in this market as time is not on their side. Home values in Arlington keep trending ever so slightly upward at about 2.2% so far this year, and purchasing power continues to be eroded by rising interest rates. The sooner buyers ratify a contract, the sooner they lock in a price and interest rate.

This week rates dropped about five basis points, but then regained that yesterday. The 30-yr fixed rate with no points is now at 5% and could go to 6% by the middle of next year.

In order to sell more 10-yr bonds to pay for the US budget deficit, the Treasury has had to raise the yield which influences long term rates like mortgages.

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.”

Sellers did their part this week to keep Arlington’s real estate market humming along by listing 69 homes. But buyers continued their mediocre trend of ratifying only 53 contracts, very similar to the last three weeks. In previous years, we would typically see 60 to 65 ratified contracts a week in the peak of the Fall market.

Mortgage interest rates shot up again this week with the 30-yr fixed rate climbing to 5%-5.125%, the highest rates in seven years. The stock market big drop this week didn’t yet influence mortgage rates to ease back. But that could happen next week if Wall Street continues a downturn. As capital flows from equities to bonds, it usually pushes down the bond yield which influences long term interest rates.

There was good news this week that unemployment is at a 60-yr low, and average wages across the US have increased 2.8%. But we are still waiting to see the average household income in the DMV increase for the first time in five years.

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.”

Arlington’s peak fall market is performing more like a summer doldrums market this week.  Sellers listed only 71 homes this week while buyers ratified only 55 contracts.  Those are numbers we would expect in July and August, but not the first week of October.

The days on market has also jumped up to 41. Arlington has 525 homes actively for sale. At the current rate of sales, there is 2.4 months of inventory. While this is way below the national average in a balanced market at 5.5 months of inventory, it shows a trend from the 1.9 months of inventory Arlington enjoyed this spring.

There are also reports this week that the national rate of home sale price growth has dropped significantly in the last few months.  Prices are not going down, they’re just no longer going up at the rate a few months ago.  Again, this is an important trend to watch.

But this week was huge in the mortgage industry.  Interest rates shot up 10 basis points, the most in one week in the last two years and now the highest rates since 2011.  The 30-yr fixed rate is now 4.875% – 5%.

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 fall real estate market was a bit sluggish this week as sellers listed only 65 homes and buyers ratified only 54 contracts. Perhaps the dismal rainy weather has kept buyers unusually inactive. In a typically strong fall market we should see 60-70 ratified contracts this time in September.

While the mid-price points are still very robust, the upper end market of homes priced $1.5 million and above is showing some softness. We are starting to see more price reductions and longer days on market at this price level.

The Fed once again raised short terms rates by 0.25% this week which will effect consumer loans, but long term rates for mortgages backed off a little after last week’s sudden spike. Most lenders are quoting 4.75%-4.875% for 30-yr fixed rate mortgages. But shop around. It’s a volatile week for mortgages and rates are varying greatly.

Your renovation or new home could cost more in the coming months. The Trump Administration tariffs are impacting the cost of numerous building materials and fixtures from lumber, drywall and granite to light fixtures and toilets.

Contractors are considering including “escalation” clauses in their contracts that allows them to adjust their pricing based on future costs.

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.”

The fall real estate market is starting to show some trends already. Sellers are actively listing their homes, with 95 fresh listings this week. But buyers are lagging, ratifying only 65 contracts. This slow pace of buyer activity is showing up nationwide.

The canary in the coal mine is San Francisco, the hottest market in the US. Higher end homes are lingering on the market and price drops have started. It’s the same case with upper end prices in other markets as well. Abundant supply and record prices are causing buyers to pause. Many markets are seeing a shift from seller’s market to buyer’s market.

The low price market is just the opposite. There’s still a shortage of homes and buyers are snatching up what’s available.

The issue is affordability. Prices have hit record highs, while mortgage rates keep creeping up, and only in the last few weeks have workers started to see a small increase in average household income.

Mortgage rates jumped this week to their highest levels in seven years with the predominant rate for 30-yr fixed at 4.875% and some major lenders are at 5%. Next week it’s expected to get worse.

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.”

Sellers stepped up big time this week, but home buyers retreated. Some 96 home owners put their properties on the market this week signaling the fall market is here. But only 55 buyers ratified contracts, most of those condos. An amazing 24 of those homes sold within seven days. That pace dropped the average days on market to just 29.

Mortgage rates remained steady this week with no real change, hovering at 4.65% – 4.75% for a 30-yr fixed rate.

Glossary Term: Earnest Money Deposit. A deposit which a buyer puts at risk when they submit an offer to show good faith and intent to complete the transaction. After all conditions in the contract have been satisfied, like a home inspection, the buyer can forfeit the deposit if they fail to close for any reason.

The deposit is usually held by the buyer’s brokerage or the title company. The deposit goes toward the buyers down payment and closing costs at settlement.

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.”

Home buyers were sleeping this week, but sellers were eager to get started in the fresh fall season.

Only 33 buyers ratified contracts this week. They were probably exhausted after partying over Labor Day weekend and then dragging themselves back to a short work week. But sellers seemed excited to get on the market with 67 new listings.

As the fall season begins, watch for the frequency of multiple contracts on fresh listings. That may be the earliest sign of the market’s temperature, whether cooling down or heating up. There is some concern that price increases may be hitting a ceiling as the average household income in Arlington has matched the affordability for the average home price.

So until incomes start to rise, we may not see much movement on prices. The average household income in Arlington has barely moved in the last five years.

Glossary Term: Setbacks.

Setbacks pertain to county building codes and are the distances allowed for a structure to be from the property lines.

In Arlington, they must be no closer than 25 feet in back and in front to the property lines. On the sides, neither side can be less than eight feet, and total for both sides cannot be less than 18 feet. So typically 10 + 8. Detached garages can be within 1 foot of back and side property line, and minimum 8 feet from any structural part of the house.

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.”

The last week of summer is typically one of the slowest weeks of the year for real estate activity. But this week was surprising with 58 ratified contracts and 57 new listings.

Some old lingering inventory got cleared out which raised the average days on market to 45. And buyers ratified 16 contracts on homes that had been on the market less than a week. So this was a strong last week of summer as we’re about ready to hit the Fall market after Labor Day.

Interest rates remained virtually unchanged at 4.65%-4.75% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points.

Glossary term: Mortgage.

A mortgage is a loan secured by real estate. It consists of two instruments; a “promissory note” (basically an IOU) which details the terms like loan amount, interest rate, and period of repayment; and a “trust deed” which legally pledges the property as collateral. If you don’t pay, you don’t stay.

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.”

With only one week left of summer, Arlington’s real estate market chugged steadily along with 59 new listings and 49 ratified contracts. The slower pace showed up with only 12 of those new listings selling within a week.

Days on market moved up a bit to 37. And interest rates remained steady as well at 4.625%-4.75% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points.

Check out the listing of the week: Gorgeous mansion for $4.8m at 412 Chain Bridge Road. How about that stained glass ceiling?

Glossary term of the week:  Deed

There are basically two most common kinds of deeds; grant deed and trust deed.

A grant deed is the instrument that conveys title and ownership from one owner to another.  A trust deed is the instrument that pledges the property as collateral for a loan so if you don’t make your payments, a lender can legally take ownership of the property from you to repay the loan.

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.”

While the last couple weeks of summer are typically slow, the Arlington real estate market showed signs of picking up. The average days on market dropped back down to 34 and some 69 sellers put their homes on the market this week, with buyers quickly snatching up 18 of those.

A total of 51 homes were ratified, leaving Arlington’s real estate inventory still on the lower side with only 495 listings as we approach Labor Day.

Mortgage rates dropped ever so slightly this week to 4.64% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points.

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.”

The summer slowdown has finally hit Arlington’s real estate market. Only 50 sellers braved to put their homes on the market this week, but 54 buyers ratified contracts. The most significant change this week is that the average days on market, which had been hovering around 35, shot up to 45. It’s taking a little longer for homes to sell.

But here’s the good news for buyers: This is a great time to ratify a contract because you actually have an opportunity to negotiate. Right now it’s a little bit more of a buyer’s market. It won’t last long. Right after Labor Day the buyers will be back in force battling over the limited inventory. So if you can find the right house now, get a good deal and lock it up.

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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