COVID-19’s impact on the regions market – Three myths & three truths

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We’re now more than two months into the region’s – and the nation’s – efforts to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and everyone, in every walk of life, has been impacted in some way. The real estate market is no exception. We believe that an important part of what we do at McEnearney Associates is to provide accurate, timely information to our clients so they can make informed decisions, and we want to offer a candid view of some of the myths and the truths about the state of the market.

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What should I know before diving into the current Virginia real estate market?

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Question: As a buyer, what should I know before diving into the current Virginia real estate market?

Answer: Real estate sales are governed by state contract law and property law. Depending on the circumstances, buyers in Virginia can expose themselves to significant risk if they are not fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.

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The state of the D.C. area real estate market

Dazzling new home in the heart of Chevy Chase designed by GTM. Incredible space exceeding 5,500 SQ FT. High-end kitchen, butler’s pantry and sun-filled family room with fireplace provide amenities and space for comfortable living. All of this plus separate dining room, living room, and gracious foyer make entry-level entertaining perfect. You will be delighted with the luxurious Master Suite as well as 4 other bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Superb finishes throughout and a garage complete this wonderful home. Offered at $2,295,000

David Howell, McEnearney Associates CIO: I want to thank Tom Williams of our Spring Valley office for letting us shoot in this beautiful home at 3304 Cummings Lane in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It’s incredible new construction, and it’s just immaculate. Over 5,300 square feet with five bedrooms and four and a half baths, there are thoughtful details throughout the house. One of my favorites is the crumb vacuum built into the kitchen island baseboard. Click here for the listing details, and I think you’ll be blown away.

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A shift in the market we haven’t seen before

At the start of the year, we predicted that this year’s Washington, DC metro area real estate market would look a lot like 2018: stable contract activity, modest price appreciation, stable mortgage interest rates, and continuing low inventory. With over half of the year in the books, we were mostly right – with one glaring exception: the inventory of available homes.

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The state of the D.C. area real estate market

In this video, we’re continuing our conversation about absorption rates.

But first, I’d like to thank Emily Gordon and Phillip Allen of our DC offices for letting us shoot this video in their incredible new listing at 3039 16th Street, NW in Columbia Heights.  Unique is a word that’s overused – but this 2 level, 2 bedroom condo really is unique.  20-foot ceilings, 18-foot windows, magnificent views, incredible smart home features and a private elevator right to the unit.  Take a look at the info below, click on the link and enjoy!

Evaluating the impact of absorption rates is really a matter of leverage.  The higher the rate, the more bargaining power the seller has. Let’s take a look at the conditions right here in Columbia Heights.  Over the last several months, the absorption rate for condos has been right around 35%. That’s a seller’s market, and the results show that.  Since the first of the year, condos here have sold for an average of 99.5% of original list price in an average of 34 days. Good stuff!

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State of the D.C. area real estate market: Where did all the listings go?

We’re now firmly in the spring market, and there’s one question that has emerged that’s pretty hard to avoid: What happened to listing inventory in the City of Alexandria and in Arlington County?

At the end of March, most of the metro area had roughly the same number of listings on the market as this time last year.  But in Arlington County, inventory is down 40%, and in the City of Alexandria, there were exactly half as many homes on the market.

Half.

Where did the listings go?  Contract activity is a little higher than last year in both of these areas. But it isn’t contract activity that accounts for the big drop in inventory.

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Amazon’s impact on Arlington and Alexandria continued in December

McEnearney Associates’ EVP and CIO David Howell
December brought some truly incredible absorption rates in Arlington and Alexandria in the aftermath of Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, while the rest of the region continued to see more typical performance.

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Amazon HQ2 announcement affects D.C. area contract activity in November 2018

Arlington and Alexandria’s real estate certainly got a boost in the immediate aftermath of Amazon’s announcement that they are bringing 25,000 new jobs to Northern Virginia over the next decade. A couple of weeks ago we talked about the Impact of Amazon’s HQ2 move to Northern Virginia and what to expect in the years to come, but today let’s focus on the immediate changes that we’ve noticed in the month of November.

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The impact of Amazon’s HQ2 move to Northern Virginia

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A HYPERBOLE-FREE VIEW
It’s official: the Amazons are coming! After 14 months of speculation, the odds-on favorite Crystal City was indeed the winner in the HQ2 sweepstakes, but with a twist. Queens, New York will get half of the planned 50,000 jobs that Amazon says it will create during the next 10 to 12 years. And in this case, getting half the loaf may turn out to be better than getting the whole thing.

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