Friday, August 1, 2008

Thinking of Selling? Some Facts about Northern Virginia

So, you're thinking of selling... wondering what the market's like? Here are some interesting statistics, published through the end of last quarter (June 2008)... and a bit of information about how to interpret it: In Northern Virginia (No. Virginia is defined by MRIS as Fairfax Co. & City, Alexandria, Falls Church and Arlington) * Prices of SOLD home are down about 15% from last year. * The number of homes sold are down about 5% from last year. * The average number of days a home stays on the market is 83. * The SOLD prices of homes is, on average, 93% of asking price. Who the buyers are: Looking at how people are financing homes gives us some clue about who the buyers are: * 65% finance with conventional loans. This requires a 20% down payment, which usually signifies someone OTHER than a first time home buyer. * 23% finance with FHA or VA loans - these are typically first time home buyers. * 10% pay cash, assume a loan or use seller financing - these are typically investors. Compared to last year, there is a huge difference. Last year more than 90% of the purchases were paid for with conventional loans, only about 1% were FHA or VA loans, and less than 5% were paid for with cash, loan assumptions or seller financing. What does this mean? Well, it says that the No. Va. region is showing some signs of stabilization. When you see an increase in first time home buyers and investors entering the market, that is a good sign. Further supporting this, is the supply ratio - last year this time, we had a 5.7 month supply of available homes; this year, it's down to 4.96 months. That might not sound like a big adjustment, but it is measurable. There are signs of stabilization in the market place. Having said all of this, what's going on in Northern Virginia does not tell you what your area is like. Some areas are showing even stronger levels of stabilization, where other neighborhoods have indicators that seem to suggest further price decline in the coming months. If you're trying to decide what your next step should be, call me. I will be happy to run reports and help you analyze the data that is most critical to you. But, for you "do-it-yourself-ers" out there, feel free to use these resources to help you learn more: * If you follow this link, you are welcome to run the same reports for anywhere that MRIS services. You can run them by area or by zip code. There are a lot of numbers on these reports, but I have shared with you some of the greatest industry markers available to us. New statistics are published around the 10th of each month for the preceding calendar month: * On the home page of my web site is a Market Snapshot tool, it links to the MLS with live data and will tell you the prices and other information of homes that have sold or that are on the market that are closest to your home. Please note, the report will be automatically generated and emailed to you - so you must include a REAL email, or you will not receive the report. You must also include the specific address of the property so that tool can function - since it is looking for the closest addresses to yours, if it does not know where you live, it will not be able to determine who is closest to you. Once you've entered the information, you'll get monthly updates automatically. You can also choose to get information more often. If you have any difficulties or would like assistance obtaining or analyzing this information, my team and I are here to serve you. Don't hesitate to ask!
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