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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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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.”

Amazon’s HQ2 influence is already being felt in Arlington. Investors are appearing from nowhere looking for rental properties in the greater “National Landing” area. And home owners in Arlington seem reluctant to sell perhaps on hopes their homes will be much more valuable in a few years.

Only 24 brave sellers put their homes on the market this week, while 68 buyers ratified contracts. If buyers are this eager just a few weeks before Christmas just think how crazy the Spring market may be. Amazon’s HQ2 decision will prove a great blessing for Arlington as elsewhere in the country the housing market may not fare so well.

We know the number of home sales is down 10% nationally from last year. And there are other signs the economy may be weakening causing some in financial circles to start talking about the R-word… recession. General Motors just laid off 14,000 workers and closed a few plants. Wall Street anxiety over trade wars with China is blamed for this week’s dramatic drop in the Dow Jones index of stock prices.

The movement of capital out of equities into safer 10-year US Treasury bonds pushed the yield lower this week which caused mortgage rates to drop as well by about 1/8% to 1/4%. So, the silver lining in all this news for home buyers is that rates are now down to 4.75% – 4.875% for a 30-yr fixed rate loan with no points.

Now if there were only some housing inventory for buyers to wrap up their dream home in a Christmas contract.

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 inventory of homes actively for sale is at a near all time low of only 350 homes. This is down 20-25% from typical levels in the summer and early fall.

Only 30 sellers put their homes on the market this week, while 43 buyers ratified contracts. The pace has clearly slowed but even at this snail speed, Arlington has only two months of inventory.

While prices are increasing slightly, the number of sales is declining. This is felt nationally as well. October saw a 2.6% drop over September, and a 6.7% drop from a year ago. This is the 10th straight month of sales decline nationally.

So what’s going on? Many factors, but economists point primarily at affordability. Prices and interest rates have continued to rise, but incomes have only marginally begun to increase. Low inventory is also to blame, as well as many new home buyers, aka millennials, are carrying significant student loan debt that delays their ability to buy a home.

Fortunately, interest rates did not increase this week but held steady at about 5% with no points for a 30-yr fixed rate.

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.”

Thanksgiving week always sees Arlington’s real estate market hit the pause button, and this week is no different. Only 20 sellers braved to list their homes this week. But 70 buyers ratified contracts, the most in several months. Amazon’s news has inspired home buyers and investors to take action.

We will continue to analyze the impact of HQ2 in the weeks ahead, but for this Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to reflect on what I am personally thankful for. And maybe it will inspire you to reflect as well…

  • My family is so awesome!!  My amazing wife, 3 kids, in-laws, brother, cousins…
  • My dog Tank who gives love and joy endlessly
  • My crazy menagerie of friends who tease and taunt and express their love a thousand ways
  • My colleagues at work who support, encourage and share laughter
  • Our clients who entrust us to handle the largest financial transactions in their lives
  • My country that provides a set of laws that aspire to treat all Americans equally
  • Our military forces that pledge their lives to protect us all from foreign harm
  • Our police, firefighters and EMT professionals who risk their lives daily to ensure our safety and health
  • Our dedicated local, state and federal governments that work diligently to provide us with the infrastructure to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

We should never take anything for granted. Complacency is the enemy of prosperity. We enjoy these benefits today because Americans who came before us fought for them. I cannot thank them enough.

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’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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