It’s the most magical time of year, the holiday season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Day. It’s the time of year when homes are decorated beautifully, families and friends gather to celebrate and the weather takes a turn for the colder. Taking all of these things into consideration, why would the Northern Virginia real estate market catch fire? Isn’t this supposed to be a slow time of year for housing? Well, it’s not!
Since the election, houses are flying off the market! We’re seeing multiple contracts on houses that were sitting on the market for months and new ones coming on the market selling in a matter of days. What’s the reason (s)? Guess what? I have a few thoughts! Mortgage interest rates are up to over 4% on 30 year fixed rates for the first time since 2014 which is still incredibly low but after over 2 years of largely flat rates it’s the movement in the upward direction, along with the expectation of them continuing in that direction that is driving people to act and not wait. After all, when the rates rise the effect on your monthly payment is essentially equivalent to prices rising.
Additionally just the fact that the election is over removes an unknown. Often just knowing what is coming adds comfort and surety to our plans and ability to make large decisions.
We hope this trend continues for our sellers who continue to stay on the market through this time of year.
However, it will continue to be tough on our buyers as inventory levels are down 24% and will continue to drop as we get closer to the Christmas/Holiday season. It will be an intriguing time of year as well as a magical time.
Here are a few more relevant questions and data points. What will the new year bring in housing sales? – more new home sales, more existing sales or both? The stock market is blowing up – how high will it go and will there be a correction? Mortgage interest rates are up and will more than likely, not come down. The Fed has indicated they are raising rates, the question is how high, how many times and how quickly in between the hikes? The Donald has kept 1,000 jobs in the US with Carrier agreeing to stay in Indiana, who is next and how will it impact our trade relations with other countries? Consumer confidence results just came out and it is the highest since 2007! So many questions I hope to help answer shortly.
We have our Annual Economic Summit in early December and my company quarterly meeting this week so I may have some answers for you early next month. Interesting things always happen when the calendar flips!
In the meantime, always feel free to reach out with questions that may impact you and your buying/selling decisions.
It’s a good life.