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!
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.
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: 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.