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

Image credit McEnearney Associates

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 mortgage industry during COVID-19

A great deal has changed in the mortgage industry over the past two weeks as the industry responds to COVID-19 economic concerns. Real estate agents and consumers need to be aware of the changes as they navigate the current residential real estate market.

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Where are we now, and where are we going?

Image credit McEnearney Associates

With restaurants and most activities closed, many businesses shuttered or the employees sent to work at home, and governors’ stay-at-home orders, you may have a lot of extra time on your hands. Many people are taking stock of their own personal situations during this crisis.

Now is a good time to consider whether you need a new home, or perhaps it’s time to downsize from the ol’ family homestead. The real estate market was very strong heading into the COVID-19 pandemic and there is good reason to believe it will regain its strength when the crisis passes. It isn’t dormant, however. Real estate transactions can, and do, still take place today.

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How do I sell a home during this coronavirus environment?

Image credit McEnearney Associates

Question: How do I sell a home during this coronavirus environment?

Answer: In good times and bad, there are few things more important to us than the place we call home. In uncertain times deciding to buy or sell a home can create increased angst and pressure on the individual that can influence the local real estate market. People who are being transferred in or out of the area may feel the greatest anxiety.

The limited inventory of houses available will, most likely, become even more limited as owners “hunker down and self-quarantine.” Expect fewer in-person viewings as buyers and their agents follow CDC guidelines for physical interactions, but prepare for increased demand of virtual showings with enhanced video and 3-D floorplans.

However, while these are extraordinary times, many practices can remain the same with a bit of tweaking. Sellers who are anxious about selling during this coronavirus challenge may find a bit of solace and opportunity in The Shannon Group’s Home Seller’s 11 Helpful Hints for success in today’s complex and jittery residential markets.

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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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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.

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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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