Friday, October 10, 2008

Homes Sales UP in Northern Virginia!

MRIS reports an increase of 53.92% in the number of home sales in Northern Virginia (Fairfax & Arlington Counties and the cities within them) when compared to the same month last year!
It seems that much of the market has finally corrected, with home prices in September down about 22% from the prior year. In general, it seems that the sellers that sold dropped their prices about 10% in September, and buyers managed to bid them down ANOTHER 8%, from their listing prices.
Also fueling the urgency this past month was the change in legislation requiring any buyers planning to buy "no money down" through the FHA and seller funded down payment assistance programs to be fully approved by October 1st. Over 50% of the homes that sold in this area sold using an FHA loan. Although there is not a quick reference report that would be able to show how many of those buyers used this program, I would venture to guess there were A LOT.
Knowing the transactions I had this past month, and those of other agents and lenders that I work closely with, I'd guess that about 50% of those FHA buyers were using the seller funded down payment assistance programs. That means on top of the 10% price drop, and the 8% further reduction in the selling price, the NET to the sellers was even less - probably another 5% on average. That's a buyer's market!
Even so, many sellers are just happy to have sold. And, with good reason. With the current economic news, many potential buyers in Fairfax & Arlington will be putting things on hold for a while. On an up note, with elections come "changing of the guards" and those of us who have been living in the shadow of the Nation's Capital for awhile know that means real estate activity... homes being bought, sold and rented, especially if there is a change in parties. So, stay tuned for more news affecting the real estate market. See the MRIS reports, available by region, county, and zip code at For the most specific and detailed report impacting YOUR HOME... order a FREE, AUTOMATED MARKET SNAPSHOT by clicking here. You will need to enter your real physical address, as that is used as the geographic point of origin for the report. It takes 5-30 minutes to generate, and it will be automatically sent to the email address you use to log in. ======================================
Note: Effective October 1st, FHA buyers must have a down payment, and effective January 1st, the minimum down payment increases. I am happy to help you learn about FHA or other financing options. I can be reached at 703-669-3142.
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