The real estate market post-government shutdown

With the government shutdown in the rearview mirror, we were curious how the market fared in February.  And it probably won’t surprise you that, since all real estate is local, there were some considerable differences.

Just one example: in Kalorama and Georgetown, the market was a little softer than this same time last year.  There was a little more inventory and little less contract activity, but absorption rates remained squarely in the “balanced market” stage.  In fact, the inventory of available homes on the market crept up all over DC and suburban Maryland while contract activity was pretty stable.

On the other side of the river in Northern Virginia, we saw a very different dynamic.  Absorption rates in most areas rose compared to last February. At a quick glance, that would seem to indicate an improving market.  But that’s not the whole story. While inventory was rising in DC and Maryland, it has actually been falling in the Virginia suburbs so there were simply fewer homes for the market to “absorb.”  So absorption rates rose despite fairly flat contract activity.

The takeaway is simply this: every market is different and if you’d like to know more about how things are in your neighborhood, we encourage you to call your favorite McEnearney Associate and we’ll give you an in-depth analysis.

—David Howell, “The real estate market post-government shut down”

The Marie Kondo Craze: Does it spark joy?

Rather than feeling suffocated amongst the heaps of materials we tend to possess these days, why not make things simpler? At the age of 30, Marie Kondo has become a sensation in the eyes of millions of people who look to her when tidying up their homes. Her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing also inspired a Netflix series, and she has launched a lifestyle brand, KonMari.  

In each episode, Marie Kondo teaches her method by entering people’s homes to help them achieve that homey and stress-free secure feeling that promotes a positive life change. When holding the item, if it does not spark joy, then thank it for its time and set it free.

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How the government shutdown has impacted the real estate market

The partial government shutdown that started right around Christmas and extended through almost all of January undoubtedly put a squeeze on the metro DC real estate market.

We took a look at absorption rates – the pace at which the market is absorbing” the available inventory – in January and compared those to rate the previous January, and there is an inescapable conclusion: the market was slower.

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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.

Compared to the previous December, contract activity in Alexandria was up 13% in December 2018 and was up 20% in Arlington.  The Amazon announcement created a perfect storm – it fueled demand precisely at a time when inventory is seasonally low. In December 2017, inventory was about 40% lower than it was in September 2017 in both Alexandria and Arlington.  As expected, inventory was already headed down before the Amazon announcement, so when contract activity increased in the last six weeks of the year in Arlington and Alexandria there was already less inventory to fight over.  And since we were then in a time of year where relatively few listings come on the market, buyers were soaking up whatever was there.

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Winter prep from top to bottom

As the temperature drops and the weather outside is ever more frightful, be sure your home, townhome, or condo is ready to bear the winter force of Mother Nature. From freezing temperatures to snow and ice, winter weather can be harmful to your home and exceptionally costly. Prepping your home for the winter months seems almost daunting, but it will protect you and your investment. You might also find some energy saving tips helpful to put save some extra cash after holiday expenditures. You’ll have snow problem surviving winter with these tips to help protect your home, your car, and you, as the winter begins to come in full force.

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Why selling during the holidays can be beneficial

Inventory tends to drop off during the holiday season, which is all the more reason for you to get serious about putting your house on the market. What was once negative feedback – selling your home during the holidays – can actually be beneficial. When buyers start looking, they usually want to get into their new home at a time that avoids interfering with their busy lifestyle. Here are some great reasons why you should consider putting your home on the market during the holidays.

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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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