Happy 2016 — hope everyone is dug out (or nearly dug out) of blizzard and is getting back in the swing of things!
Our final 2015 numbers are in and the Wethman Group is excited to announce we helped over 100 families buy and sell homes last year! We’re thrilled to have helped so many of you and your friends and colleagues you referred. Thank you!
No sitting around for us though…the 2016 real estate market has kicked off early this year, despite the snow. We’re already seeing buyers out and about, and have 5 settlements on the books for January, and several scheduled for February, too. It seems that lots of unknowns about interest rates have buyers out earlier than usual this year. Our townhouse listing in Falls Church received EIGHT offers in the first week on market! If the past few weeks are any indication, we are in for quite a busy Spring.
What else will the 2016 market bring? After consulting our crystal ball, we have a few predictions:
- Mortgage rates will rise slowly but surelythroughout 2016 as long as the economy improves, but it would be surprising if rates rose higher than 5%. Freddie Mac is predicting 4.7%. So while an increase in rates absolutely hurts purchasing power, we expect the impact to be only moderate, especially given high salaries in our area, and any impact could very well be offset by an accompanied increase in consumer confidence if the economy improves.
- Inventory will remain low in our area, as it has been for several years. This will helps support our continuing high prices, and expect multiple bid situations particularly in the Spring.
- We expect prices to rise slightly this Spring as buyers come out in full force and try to beat anticipated interest rate hikes later this year, combined with our still too-low supply.
- As the election gets closer, uncertainty may create buyer skittishness, so we are preparing for a potentially slower than usual fourth quarter. Interestingly, a change in administration has historically not had a *significant* impact on our local real estate market.
If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell this year, NOW is the time for us to start! Early February is the perfect time to start prepping for the Spring market; buyers need to start getting paperwork in order, and sellers need to start de-cluttering (it takes longer than you think!) and schedule necessary repair work. We’ve scheduled our next few FREE first time home buyer classes:
Monday, February 1 at 7 pm – Cap City Brewery in Shirlington
Sunday, February 28 at 7 pm – Arlington Central Library
* register at http://register.wethmangroup.
As always, don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your real estate needs.
Fingers crossed for sun and melting!
The Wethman Group