In the DC area, the market remains hot. There were 695 sales, which topped the December average of 673 homes sold. Pending sales and active listings were also higher than previous years. The month’s supply dipped to just below 1.5 months of inventory! Most homes were on the market 18 days or less.
In the Northern Virginia area, there were 2,599 sales in December which is lower than the five-year average. This is similar to the number of sales the same period in 2016. Pending and active listings were lower than previous December averages, but more homes were sold throughout the entire year compared to volume in 2016. The month’s supply also dipped to 1.4 months (from a 2.0 average) confirming that there is less inventory for buyers. The average days on market also decreased in most counties compared to sales in December 2016. The market is still strong in most counties.
Tax Law Update & Market Impact
The tax bill is now final and is largely the same as what was in the combined bill coming out of committee. A brief refresher:
– The bill allows a “pass through” deduction of 20% of income to an LLCs, S-Corps, and partnerships for income up to $315,000 (phases out completely at $415,000). Details are still being studied by CPAs everywhere, but this could be a good tax-saving opportunity for owners of rental properties.
– The bill allows mortgage interest on the first $750,000 of debt to be deducted.
– Itemizers can deduct a combined state and local tax PLUS property taxes but CAPS the combined deduction at $10,000.
– The “2 out of 5 years” exclusion on capital gains on the sale of a primary residence remains.
In our area, we don’t expect to see a significant impact on the immediate real estate market as a result of the tax bill. While homeowners with mortgages > $750k will certainly be impacted, it’s not likely to cause large numbers to change their home buying or selling decisions. The cap on SALT deductions has a larger impact on more home owners locally, but the increase in the standard deduction, combined with lower rates overall, makes it unlikely that most home owners will see a change significant enough to impact the buying and selling (at least until the individual cuts sunset down the road). Of course there are always exceptions, but in general, I do not expect a big shift in our market currently. We’re already seeing a lot of buyers and sellers getting ready for spring, and while they’re all curious about the new law’s impact, we’re just not seeing it change anyone’s plans yet.
The law *will* eventually have an impact on first time buyers, who will see less of a tax advantage, or no advantage at all, to buying vs renting. Of course there are other incentives, financial and otherwise, to owning, so buyers won’t disappear, but it may take longer for it to make financial sense for first time buyers, which will slow down their entry into the market and have a ripple effect upwards.
Client Appreciation Program and Events
WG PERKS Client Appreciation Program Launch
We are always looking for ways to show our clients how much we value you! We are excited to roll out a new Client Appreciation Program for 2018: WG Perks! As part of the program we will continue to offer our moving truck, client appreciation events, and loaner library, and have added for 2018 free office services (copies, faxes, and notary service), new loaner library equipment, and monthly drawings for some great prizes! If you are a client and did not receive your invitation to participate, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WG PERKS LOANER LIBRARY ADDITIONS:
You probably know we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added 2 warming buffets, a large coffee urn, and a 4 foot table, available for your short-term use. Need to take down those holiday lights? Ask us about our 22′ ladder! Just email us at email@example.com
to reserve an item for pickup.
First Time Home Buyer Classes – Coming Soon ONLINE!
In 2018 we are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer
Classes online! Beginning in February, we will be offering a free online webinar that covers: deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. Register here
and we will keep you in the loop when the dates are set, or forward this to a friend who is thinking about starting their search!