Monday, September 15, 2008

August Market Update for Loudoun

Reports continue to show stabilization within Loudoun County. Since prices adjusted (down about 25% from last year as of the end of August), activity levels continue to be on the rise.

MRIS reports a 28.47% increase in the number of closed sales in August 2008 compared to August 2007. This has been a trend for several months (up 8% in July, 19% in June, 12% in May, when compared to the same months in 2007), and is a very positive indicator that Loudoun, at least for now, seems to have reached the "bottom" of the market and is improving. I have even seen recent transactions where an investor purchased a home from a bank a few months ago, and has flipped the property, quickly, making no improvements and raking in a handsome profit. Although I do NOT recommend this investment strategy in a volital market, it is very nice to see that we may be experiencing not just stabilization, but perhaps some recovery in limited areas.

The 37 cash purchases in August (about 7% of the closed transactions) indicate investors support the theory that Loudoun's market in strengthening.

And, with 37% of the transactions being financed with FHA and VA loans, we know that first time home buyers are seeing opportunities in the market of newly affordable homes available, coupled with historically low interest rates. I anticipate September will show further increase in FHA loans as those using the seller funded down payment assistance programs will rush to complete their transactions before the program disappears (CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THIS CHANGE). We may see a "lull" in October as first time home buyers, real estate agents and loan officers scramble to learn about other low/no money down options to keep a steady flow of these buyers entering our market.

Currently, Loudoun has a little less than a 5 month inventory of homes on the market. The National Association of REALTORS suggests that a 6 month inventory is indicative of a "balanced" market, with higher inventory levels being a "buyers market" and lower inventory levels indicating a "sellers market". I am not certain I would call this a "seller's market" considering how far prices have dropped compared to previous years. However, sellers who are pricing RIGHT when their listings enter the market place ARE seeing multiple offers and quick sales. The MRIS report shows that 30% of the homes that went under contract did so in the first 30 days on the market, and another 18% got a contract within the first 60 days. What happens to sellers "testing" the market with unrealistic pricing expectations? Those would be the listings that remain on the market well beyond the "average" of 103 days of marketing time.

So, what's next? With the Fed taking control of Freddie and Fannie, Lehman Bros filing for bankrupsty, Merill Lynch being purchased by Bank of America, and the seller funded DPA's disappearing, what's to come over the next few months? Stay tuned as I work to provide you with insights on this ever changing market.
MRIS publishes new statistics monthly, around the second week of the month. The public can access these reports from They are published by region, county, city, and even zip code. A qualified agent can help you understand the information contained in these reports.For an even closer look at market conditions, order a personalized Market Snapshot by clicking HERE. Type in the information about your home, and your email address... a personalized report will be sent to you in a few minutes, detailing information about the geographically closest homes which are for sale and have recently sold.
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