Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

It’s tough to interpret the market today.

The Good: Inventory in Northern Virginia remained below the “balanced” mark of 6 months for the second month in a row, as sales increased. The PMI Mortgage Insurance Company has released its latest index which indicates ranks the liklihood of declining markets across the US. Our area got a score of 21.4 which, for you glass-half-empty folks, means there is a 21.4% chance that prices will be lower in two years. For the glass-half-full folks: they predict almost an 80% chance that prices in our area will rise over the next two years.

Even Loudoun County, which was hit significantly harder than close-in markets like Arlington and Alexandria, showed significant improvement, with the highest number of monthly sales since December 2005. Sterling Park, with the highest rate of foreclosures in Loudoun, had a year over year sales increase of 94%, and inventory across the County is down 25%!

Barron’s has noted that numbers may indicate we are nearing the bottom.

The Bad: Case-Schiller continued to report declines in our area: 1% decline this quarter, and 15% year over year. Predictions continue to roll in for slowed growth and an underperforming economy as consumer confidence and home prices slide.

The Ugly: Foreclosures remained high, though buying one is not for the feint of heart. Here is a good article to guide your expectations, and another with some tips on buying an REO property, and don’t forget to read my blog post series on foreclosure risks as well.

So should we believe the bad news or the good? The bottom line is that all of it is true! The decision to buy or sell a home is one that depends on your situation, timing, finances, and neighborhood. Don’t trust that decision to a single headline. Give me a call to discuss if it makes sense for you.