September brings the last big real estate push for the calendar year, followed by the decline in inventory–not that we’ve had significant inventory all year! But just for illustration’s sake, the week before Labor Day, there were 39 new listings in Arlington. Last week? 111.
There are lots of rumblings in the market about the slow return of inventory, as noted in DC Urbanturf. Our team has also seen that the bidding wars are slowing down or disappearing in some neighborhoods. Listings that would have sold quickly in May sat all summer. As is typical, the press is slow to report the market trends as they shift. Fall will look very different than the Spring market. Real Estate Business Intelligence, the analytics subsidiary of our local MLS, notes
“Possibly due to increased awareness of favorable local market conditions, new listing activity in the DC area has finally begun to outpace the previous year. In fact, there were over 25 percent more newly listed homes in July 2013 than in July 2012 and new listing activity has now been increasing by double-digits for four consecutive months. “
These higher prices, higher interest rates, and slight increases in inventory could lead to a very subtle shift to a buyer’s market, or at least a more balanced market between now and next Spring.
Speaking of interest rates, some strange things are going on in the market; while conforming rates remain the mid- to high-4% range, jumbo loans have dropped below conforming rates. This is good news for high cost markets like ours, especially since regulators are looking at lowering the conforming rates in an attempt to shrink the role of Fannie and Freddie in the mortgage market.
If you want to learn more about the market, sign up for our free first time buyer class on September 17 at 7:00 pm at Arlington Central Library. The class is free but you must sign up so that we can have materials available.
Finally, Arlington magazine has just a few days of voting left in their “Best of” competition. If you’re a fan of the Wethman Group, we’d be honored to have you support us with your vote of “Best Real Estate Agent”!
P.S. We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.