Arlington, VA

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 blistering heat wave this week hasn’t slowed down the real estate market.

Buyers and sellers performed more like the cool days of spring with 56 ratified contracts and 61 new listings. So far, the spring market keeps plowing right through the summer. Of those 56 sales, 26 of those homes were gone within a week.

The lack of inventory is still a big problem. There is now only 1.1 months of inventory, a slight improvement from two weeks ago when it dipped to 0.9 months. A market is considered in balance when there’s 5.5 months of inventory.

Homeowners in North Arlington should be happy (unless you’re on a fixed income). The average price of a detached home last month was up 10.2% compared to June of 2018. That increases an owner’s equity, but it also increases an owner’s property tax. Not good if you’re living on a pension.

Mortgage rates have finally started to move. In just the last week, rates have gone from 3.875% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points to 4%. The financial markets are anticipating that the Federal Reserve will cut its bank rate by the end of the month to help stimulate what the Fed sees as a slowing U.S. economy.

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 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 has finally slid into standard summer mode with only 49 new listings and only 32 ratified contracts.

The market typically drops significantly after July 4th and picks up again full steam after Labor Day in early September. People tend to travel or spend time at the beach with family and friends in July and August.

The big story for homeowners this week is the massive flooding in Arlington from that torrential rainstorm Monday morning that dropped 3.5-4.5 inches of water in just two hours. Roads were closed, streams overflowed their banks and hundreds of basements flooded big time. The storm was said to be a freak 100-yr event, but with climate change I think we can expect to see more such powerful storms.

What can a homeowner do to protect their basements from flooding, especially when the homeowner is traveling?

I have a brilliant new discovery to share, and some ageless sage advice:

  • Keep your gutters clean and downspout extensions at least 3-4 ft from house.
  • Keep your drains outside basement doors clear of debris, and make sure drains are not clogged.
  • Test your sump pump once a month. Activate the float switch to ensure all is working properly.
  • Make sure the soil around the exterior of the house is graded away from the house at the foundation wall.
  • Add a backup sump pump in your sump crock. Typically plumbers will install a battery powered pump that only comes on when the primary pump fails due to power outage. But wait, there’s a new backup pump system…

Install a water-powered backup sump pump in your sump crock. This is a brilliant new product that does not rely on electric power either from a battery or your home’s power grid.

It works from the water pressure in your home, which remains constant even when your power goes out in a big storm.

We installed one in the basement of our new home, and within two months it saved our basement from flooding and costing $30,000 in renovation. The pump costs just a few hundred dollars to be installed. It connects to your home’s cold water supply.

When its float valve is activated, it allows the full pressure of your home to pull out the water in the sump based on the Venturi principle of creating low pressure. It worked beautifully and saved our basement. For every gallon of water used, it pulls two gallons of water from the sump. And it can keep doing that forever until power is restored.

I predict battery backup sump pumps are headed quickly for extinction.

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 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 5th of July! If you’re reading this, then you survived all the hoopla, fireworks and BBQs. Hope you had a great time!

Arlington’s real estate market today feels a lot like many of us… tired and just glad to be alive. It’s been a slow week with only 34 fresh new listings and 38 ratified contracts. Seems like everyone enjoyed their time off for the holiday.

Interest rates held steady at 3.875% for a 30-yr fixed rate. But this week lenders fees fluctuated significantly. When shopping for a loan, be sure to ask not only about the rate, but the points and various fees.

Also ask how long you can lock in your interest rate once you have a ratified contract, what’s the extra cost to extend a lock-in, and whether you can get a one-time drop down after locking in if interest rates go down before closing.

Buyers and sellers should also be aware of the increasing threat of cyber crime when wiring funds for closing. Don’t ever respond to instructions sent by email. Before wiring, always call your title company and confirm instructions by phone.

Cyber thieves can hack your emails, follow the traffic and persuasively mimic your agent or title company and give you instructions to wire funds to a different account, their account in some far off land. Be smart. Be careful. Verify before you wire.

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 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 summertime temps may be in the mid 90’s this week, but the real estate market feels like springtime. With the exception of the Memorial Holiday week, the spring market has just kept rolling along into summer, so far.

Arlington saw another week of big numbers with 77 new listings and 65 ratified contracts. Over half of those homes sold within seven days of hitting the market. That has pushed our inventory levels to new lows again. There are only 247 homes actively for sale in Arlington right now. At the current rate of sales, we have only 0.95 months of inventory. That’s right, less than a month. It’s a tough market for buyers.

The good news is that mortgage rates have held steady at 3.85% for a 30-yr fixed rate with no points. That’s the lowest since November 2016. The low rates have sparked a rush of refinancing. If your current loan is 4.65% or higher, and your loan is less than seven years old, you should consider refinancing. Talk to a local lender or two to discuss how you can lower your monthly mortgage payment at no out of pocket 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 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 summer real estate market continues at a strong pace with both buyers and sellers performing well.

Home sellers listed 61 properties this week, and buyers ratified 53 contracts. Some 29 of those contracts were on homes listed for a week or less. The average days on market has shifted slightly to just 18. These are strong numbers for a summer market.

But below the calm steady surface of the housing market lies powerful currents that could greatly affect home sales. Amidst signs of a slowing U.S. economy, The Fed has been under pressure by the administration to cut rates as an economic stimulus.

The Fed met on Wednesday and announced it was holding firm with no rate cuts in sight, opting to play a wait and see approach based on economic growth changes. And Fannie Mae this week lowered its projections for economic growth in 2019 and 2020 which it believes could raise mortgage rates later this year.

Trade wars and weakening consumer and business confidence are cited as the main causes for slowing economic growth. The weak jobs reports for the last several months have added to the concerns.

These dynamics will influence mortgage rates, and mortgage rates have a powerful influence on our housing market as does consumer confidence.

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 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 continues at a strong summer pace and more good news landed on Arlington’s doorstep this week.

Sellers listed 72 homes this week, and buyers ratified 64 contracts. Some 34 of those homes sold within a week. This pushed the average days on market down to just 14. With only 241 homes actively for sale, and at this pace of absorption, Arlington’s inventory rate has again dropped below one month’s supply.

The exciting news is that Virginia Tech announced this week that it is opening a new “Innovation Campus” for graduate students near Amazon’s HQ2 locations. The VA Tech campus will be just over Arlington’s border by the Regal Theatres in Potomac Yards in Alexandria.

When completed in 10 years, it will accommodate over 1,000 masters and doctoral students. Like HQ2, this will undoubtedly have a major impact on the local area’s economy, demand on housing and new business growth.

This week saw a surge in new mortgage applications both for purchase and refinance. Refinance applications were up 97% from a year ago, and purchase applications were up 27%. Mortgage professionals recommend locking in your interest rate right away as rates could start to go back up.

The Federal Reserve has hinted its concern about disappointing jobs reports and the effects of trade wars on economic growth. It has indicated it may reduce its short-term bank rate later this year to invigorate growth. A slowing economy may push mortgage rates higher.

The 30-yr fixed rate remains at 3.82% according to Freddie Mac but could start inching upward as soon as close of business today. So, check with your lender and considering locking in before rates change.

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 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 has blasted into the summer real estate market with a vengeance, setting a record for the year.

Sellers listed a whopping 91 homes for sale this week, the most so far this year. And buyers ratified a remarkable 78 contracts with 36 of those homes selling within a week. This could be a harbinger of what to expect for the summer: a sizzling hot market.

Certainly the demand has been there all year. The shortage of homes for sale has held back the number of transactions. Sellers should be getting the memo that NOW is a great time to list their home.

Buyers were handed some great news this week as interest rates dropped again to the lowest level since December 2017. The 30-yr fixed rate dropped to 3.85%. A year ago the rate was 4.54%.

The bad news for buyers: the cost of a new home will be going up as 5% tariffs will be imposed on Mexican products starting on Monday. The U.S. imports many home building products from Mexico such as steel and concrete.

Tight inventories are now effecting the rental market as well. Concessions to renters to entice them to sign up have dropped 30% since a year ago, and landlords are raising rent prices 3.1% on average.

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 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.”

Like clockwork, Arlington’s real estate market hit the brakes this week as we entered the first week of the summer.

The market typically slows right after Memorial Day weekend, and this year was no different. Sellers listed 45 homes, while buyers ratified 44 contracts. That’s about a 40% drop in activity from last week.

There’s good news for buyers on two points: the inventory level improved and interest rates dropped. This week, inventory in Arlington increased to 1.4 months compared to just under one month for the last several weeks. The higher the inventory level, the more choices and negotiating power for buyers.

Mortgage interest rates dropped to 4% for a 30-yr fixed rate, and highly qualified buyers with great credit can get a rate in the high 3’s%. That adds considerably to a buyer’s purchasing power. The escalating trade war with China now shows signs of slowing the U.S. economy, and that news has impacted the drops on Wall Street and flow of capital into safe 10-yr U.S. Treasury bonds.

Further tensions with China could slow our economy more, and mortgage rates could see even lower numbers.

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 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 the Spring market has ended on high notes. The real estate market in Arlington continues at a near record pace this week with 81 sellers listing their homes and 71 buyers ratifying contracts. Over half (39) of the homes sold were gone within seven days. The higher end market also continues at a strong pace with nine of those sales over $1 million.

Low inventory continues to be a huge problem, and this week was one of the worst. At the current rate of absorption, there is only 0.87 months of inventory. You saw it correctly, less than a month. A market is considered in equilibrium when there’s 5.5 months of inventory.

It will be very interesting to see how well this hot spring market performs as we enter summer after the Memorial Day weekend holiday. Data by mid-June should provide a big clue.

You know home prices have overheated when 25% of techies surveyed say they are leaving the San Francisco Bay area to seek lower housing costs in other cities.

They cite five favorite “home” alternatives: New York area, Austin, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles. The median home price in San Fran/Oakland/Hayward is $815,000. The New York/New Jersey area median price is $515,000.

A favorite location for many techies is Austin at just $400,000 median price. And windy city Chicago is just $350,000. It’s not clear why some prefer Los Angeles at a higher price, at $829,000, but maybe it’s just because they can’t bear to leave California.

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 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 pace of real estate sales slowed slightly this week after last week’s record setting numbers. But Arlington’s market is still strong.

Sellers listed 68 homes this week, while 73 buyers ratified contracts. Some 24 of those homes sold within a week.

The escalating rhetoric this week about trade wars with China and the administration’s increase of tariffs on imported Chinese goods was both good and bad for home buyers. New tariff announcements caused jitters on Wall Street and fears it could hurt the U.S. economy, driving down the Dow Jones. But those concerns helped to push mortgage rates a little lower.

Buyers will need that break because the trade wars are raising the costs of home building and home remodeling. About 450 products from China like tile, countertops, lighting and many more are affected now with total added costs increasing about $1.5 billion nationally. That translates to about 4-5% increase in materials costs, and will raise costs to consumers by about 7-8%, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Mortgage rates ended this week at about 4.125%-4.25% for a 30-yr fixed rate mortgage.

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 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 an incredible week for Arlington’s real estate market.

Both buyers and sellers set new records for the year with buyers ratifying 82 contracts and sellers listing 86 homes. Half of the homes that sold this week (41) were on the market only seven days or less. And 17 of those sales were homes priced above $1 million.

The average days on market for those sold homes is just 18. At the current rate of sales, and with only 268 homes actively available on the market, Arlington has only 0.8 months of inventory. This is the lowest level of inventory I can remember since the crazy days of 2001-2005.

This helps to explain two growing trends in our national housing market. Seniors are increasingly choosing to age in place and spend their savings on renovating and modifying their homes for one-level living. Part of that decision is because they can’t find a suitable and affordable replacement home. And part is because they already have their support network where they live.

The other trend is that millennials are moving in large numbers to smaller cities where unemployment is low and housing prices are more affordable. They are moving into places like Madison, Oklahoma City, Durham and Grand Rapids.

Mortgage rates have closed out the week with essentially no change, even though Wall Street has the jitters because of new talk about trade wars with China and the damage it could do to the U.S. economy. Rates ended the week at 4.25% for a 30-yr fixed rate.

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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