This Month in Real Estate – February 2020

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – January 2019

January 2020
The “Season” Has Come Early…
I know it sounds crazy, but the Spring real estate market has already arrived. Yes, in January! Frustrated buyers from 2019 never stopped looking and homes that are going on the market are selling NOW, often with multiple bids. For sellers with a home that has some ‘flaws’ that may make them compare unfavorably to competition in Spring (i.e., busy road, a fixer upper, outdated features), this is the perfect time to get on the market as quickly as possible. Buyers, you need to start looking NOW — don’t wait til Spring when other buyers are ALL out; we’re not expecting huge jumps in inventory this year, and interest rates remain at historic lows.
BEST OF ARLINGTON WINNER!
THANK YOU for voting our team one of the “Best of Arlington” for 2020 in Arlington Magazine! See us in the January/February issue on news stands now and read our profile online here.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
What’s an example of something in your professional life that you’re particularly proud of?
I’m most proud of the outstanding team that we’ve built. Everyone approaches each client as if we’re taking care of our own family, and we give honest advice even if it means that we don’t get any immediate business. We’re confident that by doing the right thing, our business will continue to grow.
IN OTHER NEWS…
The “Beltway” vis a vis HQ2’s Impact
Greater Greater Washington had a great story looking at the size of our DC Beltway superimposed onto other cities. Check out the story here. Looking at their maps, the Seattle map was particularly interesting given Amazon HQ2 and its impact on our market. Seattle’s equivalently sized “Beltway” (pictured at left) is mostly water, and has some pretty serious commuting bottlenecks, which, combined with their heavy concentration of jobs at Amazon, resulted in their crazy real estate market as Amazon grew. Our area looks very different both in terms of geographic advantages as well as the ability to absorb a high number of jobs more easily. On a related note, we enjoyed reading ARLNOW’s column with a deep dive into HQ 2 zip code 22202 statistics (and Part II here). Be sure to follow our updates at our National Landing Account on Instagram here!
Confused about how it will impact buying or selling in Arlington? Contact us for more info!
WETHMAN GROUP VIDEO: FIVE MISTAKES SELLERS MAKE
Selling in 2020?
Catch our 30 minute video presentation (at right) on Five Mistakes Home Sellers Make, and contact us to discuss market conditions and your strategy.
5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make - Katie Wethman ('94)
As always, if we can ever help with your real estate needs,
please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Wethman Group Perks: Moving Truck
Need to drop off donations? Do you need a truck for a charity event?Picking up new furniture? Use our truck locally (free of charge) if you are a past or current client (or referred a client). Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – December 2019

December 2019
Market Update & Year in Review
As expected, the market activity has dropped now that it’s December, but it’s been a very active year for our team and the real estate market in general. Looking back at 2019, here are some key takeaways about our current market:
  • We saw a further drop (again!) in inventory, which contributed to bidding wars starting in Spring and continuing throughout the year. (See chart with 5 year trend above.) This was exacerbated by the hype surrounding last November’s Amazon announcement, but the inventory crises was in place well before the announcement.
  • HQ2 has had limited impact on our area–mostly the hype value–so far, with only a few hundred new hires at its new Arlington “National Landing” location. Disappointed investors have not found any deals on residential rental properties, but commercial developers are quickly working to bring apartments online in the coming years. There are still a few pockets that our team loves for potential upside though, so contact us if you’re thinking of buying in that corridor.
  • Interest rates dropped across 2019, further motivating buyers to drive up prices. 30 year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.75% back in January, and are currently at 3.68%.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2019 seemed to have minimal impact on buyers’ decision making, despite the disadvantageous new rules about state and local tax deductions.
  • November saw a change in our local MLS’s rules about “Coming Soon” advertising, with significant fines to take effect starting February 1 for agents who advertise off MLS for more than 24 hours. This has the potential to significantly alter the way buyers search for homes, and having a well-connected team of agents to find opportunities is more important than ever!
New 2020 Conforming Loan Limits and Changes to VA Loans
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced its new loan limits for 2020. The new (regular) conforming loan amount impacts nearly every part of the US, and was raised to $510,400. In higher cost cities, which includes the DC Metro area, the new conforming loan limit is $765,600.
The Veterans Administration has also updated their lending requirements for 2020, and there will no longer be a cap on the amount a veteran can borrow, subject to their income qualification criteria. There is an increase in the funding fee, but all Purple Heart recipients are now eligible for a waiver of the funding fee.
Buying in 2020?
Now is the time to discuss timing, strategy, and financing options. There are good values to be had if you know where to look. Contact us for a consultation, and catch our video “5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make” here.
Madison Network Webinar- Katie Wethman ('94)- 5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make
Thinking of Selling in 2020? It takes time to prep a house–don’t wait for Spring to reach out for a no-obligation meeting! Our team is looking to get a jump on the Spring market and is currently setting up consultation appointments for January and February. We’re offering special financial and staging incentives for sellers who meet and sign with us before the end of February for a Spring 2020 listing—if you or someone you know is thinking of selling next year, please contact us to book an appointment!
As always, if we can ever help with your real estate needs,
please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Wishing you all very merry holidays and a happy new year!
HOME CARE CORNER
Winter is officially here! If you haven’t turned off your hose bibs, now is the time! Click here for details: Hose Bib Shutoff Instructions.
CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENTS
THANK YOU to all of our clients that attended Pie Day and Breakfast at the Movies with Santa! We loved seeing you! We appreciate you supporting our business all year long with your referrals of friends and family.
Wethman Group Perks: Moving Truck
Need to drop off donations? Do you need a truck for a charity event?Picking up new furniture? Use our truck locally (free of charge) if you are a past or current client (or referred a client). Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – November 2019

November 2019
November marks 1 year since the Amazon HQ2 announcement, so we thought this would be a good time to explore the residual effects to come from this important decision.
In securing the deal, Amazon promised between 25,000 to 37,850 jobs coming over 15 years as a result of the new headquarters. As a point of reference, the DC Metro area brings in 34,000 jobs on average annually. Since the announcement, the corporation has worked to fulfill its promise to hire 400 employees in 2019, and has thus far filled about 200 of those spaces. According to the Washington Business Journal, Amazon should reach its target with the number of workers already hired with a start date before the final day of 2019. Amazon is expected to break ground on phase one of its new headquarters in 2020, which includes two 22-story office buildings in Pentagon City with about 67,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 2.1 million square feet of office space in National Landing.
There was an enormous amount of hype surrounding the announcement for the first 6 months that has quieted in the latter part of 2019. Investors came to area immediately after looking to find a great deal for a cash-flow positive investment property and many were disappointed to find it difficult with high housing prices in the area. That said, with more buyers scouting in the area and already low inventory, competition has only increased throughout 2019. In the long term, we still believe housing impacts from Amazon HQ2 will be dispersed throughout the area and evolve as Amazon employees fill positions over the next decade or more. National Landing’s status as a new ‘it’ location has affected some pockets of relative affordability in South Arlington and inventory in and around Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard rarely sits on the market for long and is a competitive bid.
Local universities, including Virginia Tech (VT), George Mason University (GMU), the University of Maryland (UMD), and more, have already started work on expanding campuses, building new facilities near the Amazon HQ2 headquarters, and adding focuses of study and courses to provide a tech pipeline of students who can fill much of the future job demand from Amazon HQ2. GMU recently announced plans to expand their Arlington Campus with the Institute for Digital Innovation facility to focus on tech studies, and UMD is expected to open a research and event space in Crystal City called the Discovery Center. VT plans to build a Tech Innovation Campus near the new headquarters to accommodate 750 new computer science master’s students and hundreds more postdoctoral fellows.
We have seen housing prices increase this year, but still believe the major driver behind this is a lack of inventory that has gotten worse year-over-year. In addition, many homeowners held out on selling in the early part of 2019 in hopes to see even greater equity increases, further compounding the inventory shortage. A heavy sellers’ market has been the norm for a while now in the greater DC Metro area, making a competitive and difficult environment for buyers. According to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, total home sales are up from last year and our team’s buyers have still found good options so don’t let this influence your decision to purchase a home in the coming year.
If you are considering buying or selling contact us to discuss your strategy.

Client Appreciation Event: Thanksgiving Pie!

Reminder: Our annual Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway is underway for clients! Clients: if you didn’t receive your postcard or email link, please contact us! As always, we are so grateful for your support of our team with your business and your referrals. We look forward to seeing all our clients at our event!
p.s. Breakfast at the Movies with Santa invites are also out, so keep an eye out for your RSVP link or contact us!
Picking up new furniture? Need a truck for a charitable event? Use our truck locally (free of charge) if you are a past or current client. Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – October 2019

October 2019
The Fall market is in full swing! Inventory is still extremely low, which is pushing prices up. There are still good values out there though, if you know where to look. Our own Katie Wethman was one of the featured agents in NBC4 news’ recent story about what you get for $470k in our area. Take a look here!
In market news, our area is expected to continue to see rising rents, as discussed in this article. But buyers are stuck between a rock and a hard place–average home prices are also up nearly everywhere in our region, and with no end in sight to our inventory crises, renters are going to continue to find it difficult.
In DC proper, September also saw a significant increase in median sales price year over year, and roughly equal sales volume (up in detached and condo, down in townhouses). Sellers are still getting 99%+ of asking price. You can dive deeper into the DC market stats here.
Our team is growing! We’re welcoming Barbara Monahan as an agent on our team! Barbara has been in real estate several years already, and we’re happy to have another experienced agent to help serve our awesome clients!
As always, feel free to contact us to discuss your specific real estate questions!
Interest Rate Update
Rates continue to be very low, and it’s a great time to refinance (especially if you’re in an adjustable rate mortgage!) Contact any member of the The Wethman Group if you want to discuss whether it makes sense, and for a recommendation to an awesome lender!
30-Year Fixed Conventional 3.77%
5/1 ARM 3.93%
30-Year Jumbo 4.09%
Rates per Bankrate.com as of 10/28//19. https://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx Graph Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US
WETHMAN GROUP LISTINGS
Active:
Coming Soon:
4315 Rosedale Ave Bethesda, MD $1.25M
Sold:
405 N. Highland St Arlington, VA $1.625M
12154 Captiva Ct Reston, VA – $330K
HOME CARE CORNER:
Winterizing Hose Bibs
The weather hasn’t quite turned yet, but this is a good time to go ahead and winterize those outside hose bibs if you don’t expect to be watering any plants the rest of the year. To winterize a hose bib, cut the inside shutoff valve OFF, then turn the outdoor hose bib ON to drain the line.
CLIENT PERKS: LEAF BLOWER/SHREDDER
Fall leaves will be dropping soon! Clients can use our leaf blower and shredder for FREE. Just contact us to arrange a loan!
Have something you’d like to see us add to our collection of client items available to borrow? We add items all the time–just email us!
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – September 2019

September 2019
The kids are back to school, and we’re back to the hot real estate market!
August stats were roughly in line with prior years’, and activity picked up after Labor Day, as expected. See chart at right for Northern Virginia stats (take Fairfax City and Falls Church with a grain of salt…very small sample sizes! But WOW Arlington–no doubt people are buying into the HQ2 hype.) Typically in September we see a pop in inventory as sellers try to get a deal done before the holidays and year end, and this year is no exception.
We’ll be announcing soon a date for the return of our FREE first time home buyer classes! Stay tuned for a date in late October or early November. Contact us if you want us to ping you when registration opens!
Thinking of buying? It’s better to start sooner than later, even if your target move date is months away…with a lot of buyers ‘waiting until next Spring’, it’s a great time to find a great home with less competition from other buyers!

Interest Rate Update
Rates continue to be very low, and it’s a great time to refinance (especially if you’re in an adjustable rate mortgage!) This is also a great time to see if you can get PMI removed if you were close to the equity threshold–we have all of the high Spring sales as comps. Contact any member of the The Wethman Group if you want to discuss whether it makes sense, and for a recommendation to an awesome lender!
30-Year Fixed Conventional 3.75%
5/1 ARM 3.96%
30-Year Jumbo 4.05%
Rates per Bankrate.com as of 9/25/19. https://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx Graph Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US
WETHMAN GROUP LISTINGS
Coming Soon:
1201 N. Garfield St #803 Arlington, VA $750K/TBD
5844 Aspen Wood Ct Arlington, VA $1.5M
Under Contract:
405 N. Highland St Arlington, VA $1.65M
12154 Captiva Ct Reston, VA – $325K

HOME CARE CORNER:
Winterizing Hose Bibs
The weather hasn’t quite turned yet, but this is a good time to go ahead and winterize those outside hose bibs if you don’t expect to be watering any plants the rest of the year. To winterize a hose bib, cut the inside shutoff valve OFF, then turn the outdoor hose bib ON to drain the line.
CLIENT PERKS: LEAF BLOWER/SHREDDER
Fall leaves will be dropping soon! Clients can use our leaf blower and shredder for FREE. Just contact us to arrange a loan!
Have something you’d like to see us add to our collection of client items available to borrow? Just email us!
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
Share