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4 years ago
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Is the real estate market in DC and NoVa still declining?

The condos I've found are either ok units in a great location or great units in a decent neighborhood. To get that "perfect condo" that I really like in a walkable neighborhood is a bit more than the budget I've set for myself. I am qualified for more and can make the payments, but I would just have less money to do the fun stuff. Just wondering if I hold a little longer, would my options open up. Do you think the prices are going to drop even lower, or is now a good time to buy?
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4 years ago
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Hi Mindy,

Unfortunately, the answer to your question is no. The real estate market in Northern VA is on the up turn. The city of Alexandria has about a 4 month supply of inventory, Fairfax count has less than a 3 month supply and Arlington has just about a 3 month supply. In a stable market we should have at least a 6 month supply of homes. What this basically means is that there is very little inventory which drives prices up. If you wait, prices are likely to have risen. Right now, the prices are lower and the interest rates are better, the longer you wait, the prices are likely to actually be on the rise and interest rates simply can't stay this low for much longer, so those will be on the rise as well. Interest rates will actually affect your monthly payment more than the price of the house, so take advantage of those while you can so that you have more buying power. My suggestion would be to keep looking and perhaps adjust your expectations...decide what features are necessary for you and which ones you can compromise on. For instance, you might need to be near a metro, and would like to have an updated kitchen, but if you find a great home near a metro with a less updated kitchen it is ok. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need any help. If you are not already working with a Realtor, I would be happy to help you out. My name is Kristen Foley and I am a Realtor with Weichert Realtors in Old Town Alexandria, my contact info is: kristen@kfoleyhomes.com, (703)232-2292

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3 years ago
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Mindy--Of course a Realtor is going to tell you "prices are going up--buy now!" just like they did in the run up to the Washington DC price peak in March 2006. Take a look at the Case-Shiller home price index: while it's true that prices bounced off their April 2009 lows, they've only appreciated about 5% in two and a half years--about keeping pace with inflation. If anybody can predict where prices are going they certainly wouldn't be working as a real estate agent. For what it's worth (not much but at least its unbiased), my view is that prices will remain relatively flat for the next 12-24 months given the high unemployement rates and looming reductions in government spending. Also, if a republican makes it into the White House, I would anticipate significant additional government spending cuts which could dramatically reduce demand in the WDC metro area (no new government jobs) while simultaneously increasing supply (people seeking employment in other parts of the country). If I were you, I would focus on those types of macro-economic factors and formulate a view for myself, but again and in my humble opinion, you should be fine to wait and potentially even benefit from it. I guess you can't blame Kristen for toeing the line though ;).
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3 years ago
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I should also add that looking at historical data, Kristen was--unsurprisingly--wrong.

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