State of the Real Estate Market – December 2009

It’s been a surprisingly busy December, helped no doubt by the VERY low interest rates for the last few weeks, prompting articles like Business Week’s “If You Don’t Buy a House Now You’re Stupid or Broke.” While I think that might be a bit of an extreme view, it does underscore the affordability of homes right now. Apparently buyers believe it because inventory continues to drop throughout our region.

Despite the current affordability, it may become less so with some pending changes in FHA loans, including a potential increase to the insurance premium charged.  It’s also widely expected that rates will rise when the Fed’s current program of buying mortgage backed securities comes to a close.  To date the government has spent over $1 trillion keeping rates artificially low, and there is only $179 billion left in the program, which continues through March. The combination of these low rates and the $8000 and $6500 buyer credits should result in an incredibly busy spring for us, and January is due to be much busier than in years past.  (Are you listening sellers?!)

I’ve scheduled a First Time Home Buyer class for January 26, 2010 at Arlington Central Library.  If you or someone you know is thinking of buying, please contact me to register.  The session is free, but space is limited and registration is required.  I’m also planning to conduct these sessions at several local companies again this year, so if you would like a class at your company, please let me know, or have your HR contact call me.

As the year draws to a close, I’d like to thank you all for your business and referrals in 2009.  Your confidence in me is very much appreciated.  If I can be of any assistance to you or your friends who are thinking through whether to buy or sell next year, I’d love to help.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, and all the best for 2010.
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