Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
Good morning all,The latest Zillow homeowner confidence survey out, and it's an interest look into the psychology underlying the market. Fifty-seven percent of homeowners acknowledge that their homes have lost value over the past year, whereas seventy-six percent have actually lost value. That's actually a better correlation than I expected.More startling, however, is in expectations for the coming year. Seventy percent of homeowners believe that their homes will increase in value or stay the same over the first half of 2009. That "magic buyer" is apparently waiting around the corner, and he hasn't been laid off. http://tinyurl.com/ahsog
Oddness in today's redfin mailing, 45 listings changed from "off market" to contingent. Was redfin's contingent thingy just not working before, or did a couple of agents just mess up alot and go back and fix all these. 45 properties going from "probable done deal" to "only if I can sell my own house" is a lot.
Alexandria's assessments and real estate maps are ready.Check it out! I'm in Zone 7 which is DOWN a big 2.7% from last year.
cara, I had the exact same thing happen with my Redfin updates, and I know a lot of the properties I was emailed about have actually been under contract for a long time, so there must be something going on with their system? (At first, I thought to myself, Wow, people were really moved by all this "stimulus" news.)
Term, I wonder to what extent (by what %) those 57% believe their property has declined. My guess is that it is much less than the actual decline in their areas.
It looks like homeowners have adjusted their thinking from "Real Estate always goes up" to "Real Estate almost always goes up."Since prices have gone down for the last couple years, it only follows that they have to go up next year.Just like if you flip a coin five times and get heads each time, you're due for a tails (the "gambler's fallacy").
Given the number of people at work giving me unsolicited advice that now's a fantastic time to buy, I would say that current owners really think today's prices are a steal. Or at least that the prices for foreclosures are way "under market".Of course many of these same people think that the current low interest rates make it a great time to buy, rather than a great time to refinance your current debt...So, do you all think it's time for banks to start opening the floodgates of foreclosures onto the market now that its been mostly decided that there will be no free pony with your purchase? Better rush to get the most out of those last 5 months of the free $7500 for first-timers!!
"@J@ said...Alexandria's assessments and real estate maps are ready.Check it out! I'm in Zone 7 which is DOWN a big 2.7% from last year."Yeah - I just got mine yesterday and was a bit surprised. After a 1.5% reduction in last year, they bumped it back up 1.2% this year.
The latest I read is that the tax credit will be up to $8k for first time homebuyers only. This is a moving target at this point and will no doubt change 20 more times before enactment.
Cara, you're exactly right. I get it all the time from coworkers and associates. "Wow, you should buy a house and take advantage of the deals". Then begins their education about the housing bubble. Those that are homeowners still think this is just some sort of temporary phenomenon. That their 2005 purchase *really* is worth more than they paid, just after this malady passes. They'll be holding their breaths for decades.
kevin,I don't envy you trying to educate people who bought that recently. Lucky for me all but one of my co-workers who own houses bought them before 2001. (the exception bought a coop apartment in 2003 in Adams Morgan, so doesn't have too much to worry about, but I still feel awkward discussing housing in front of him.)
They don't take it very well. Most typical counter-argument is that their neighborhood is "special" or desirable. That's great, but it was also that way before the bubble, hence is likely to fall just as much as anything else in the area.It's a lot easier to talk to people about it now than say a year or two ago. People REALLY didn't like hearing bad news then. Now they're getting used to it.
Southern Fauquier plans 1,000 homes . . .Optimists!"New Town Plan Gets 'Coming-Out Party'"
Foreclosure rates by county are out for January (households per 1000 in foreclosure - higher the number the better):Arl - 1 in 1099 HH in foreclosureAlex - 1 in 739 HH in foreclosureFfx - 1 in 435 HH in foreclosureLou - 1 in 285 HH in foreclosurePWC - 1 in 154 HH in foreclosureAs is typical for as long as I have been tracking this the disparities by area are still huge. That said, I may (and I stress may) detect some improvement in Ffx, Lou & PWC.This last summer Ffx averaged 1 in 267, Lou 1 in 197, & PWC 1 in 103 foreclosures (respectively). This could just be seasonal - I wont know til I have more than 1 years data, but they have moved a bit off those mid summer depths.Also, I dont think it is just increased mitigation efforts because the rates in Arlington & Alexandria havent gotten any better. If anything, Arl & Alex may (and I stress may) have slipped a bit since this summer. Bottom line is it is too early to tell, but this is something I will continue to watch in the months ahead.
"now that its been mostly decided that there will be no free pony with your purchase?"Laugh-snort-laugh (great one Cara!)I WANT MY PONY DAMMIT!!So is the 15K Tax credit officially dead now?
spunky,I believe it's been downgraded to $8000 for first-time buyers who close before Aug 31, but I haven't verified this with Thomas.http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:7:./temp/~c111pSKl9Y::(I also don't know if there's a phase-out for income)At this point I'm waiting until it's signed into law to verify the exact provisions.
Re: Redfin updates todayI noticed the same thing. Must be gremlins in the redfin system. I checked the contract and status change dates on a few listing…they were all different. Here's the listing info for one of the updates i received this morning:Listing Date: Thursday, December 4, 2008 Status Change Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 10:23 AM Contract Date: 2009-01-03Last Contingency Type: Document Review Last Contingency Expires: 2009-02-28 Contingency: Document Review Contingency: Home Inspection Contingency: Radon Type: Listing Agent Represents Buyer (Dual Agency)
Homebuyers credit update: the latest version of the bill removes the requirement that the previously authorized tax credit of up to $7500 for first time homebuyers be repaid for purchases between Dec 30,2008 and July 1, 2009. Tax credits claimed on purchases in the original time period (after april 9, 2008) would still need to be repaid, and the credit phases out for incomes over $75k as in the original($150k married). The credit only applies to first time homebuyers as in the original.
So, basically, there is a first time homebuyers credit of $7500 which now does not need to be repaid, a true credit. The income phase out is 75-95k for single and 150-170k for married, and the definition of first time home buyer is not owning a principal residence in the last 3 years.
shamrock, thanks for the update. like cara, i am not going to hold my breath til the final bill is signed by the president, but that is very interesting...it seems to me like the window for people to get the $7500-that-does-not-need-to-be-paid-back will end up being incredibly small: from when the bill becomes law until July 1? 4 months? and they have to be first-time buyers...that cannot have much of an impact, can it?
CRT--I wish I had kept up with my foreclosure #s, but I lost track from the time we moved until December. Something curious:These were numbers direct from RealtyTrac, of actual #s of foreclosures, rather than foreclosure rates:December 2007: 862February 2008: 306March 2008: 1,497April 2008: 645May 2008: 797June 2008: 776December 2008: 1,101January 2009: 866I vaguely recall a couple fall months were right around 1,000/month, but I can't be sure.Two points:January #s were most certainly down from December...But maybe the two ways of measuring foreclosures--a hard # and foreclosures per 1000 households--don't quite match up. Because I am certain there were fewer foreclosure filings reported last summer, but the "foreclosures per 1000 households" number has definitely been improving. I remember the sept. rate for PWC was 1-87. Am I making any sense?In other words, the hard monthly total this January (866) is still way over last year's hard numbers. I can't find the # for last January, but look at what I do have. That's still high.
Tabitha - I understand you, and unfortunately, I think that means realtytrac was underestimating the PWC data (I didnt start tracking hard foreclosure #s til Sept 08 - and what I have matches up with yours.I heard that (til this summer) Realtytrac had a problem stimating the # of homes in rural areas. PWC may be too far out for them to have a good handle on it. In a nutshell, that means the data I have showing PWC "improving" may just be because realtytrac is improving its accuracy of PWC. Just when I thought PWC was getting better - RATS!!!
re foreclosure stats: wasn't there some kind of foreclosure moratorium by the GSE's that just ended a couple of weeks ago? could that have brought numbers down some?
By MarketWatchLast update: 1:07 p.m. EST Feb. 12, 2009Comments: 2Don't miss these top stories:Putting foreclosures on hold It's nice to see foreclosures fall for once, even if it is only for a month and even if it is only because the two biggest mortgage agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, had a foreclosure moratorium in place for most of January when filings dropped 10% from December. Just don't get used to it. Foreclosures are going to continue to rise, inevitably, as past mortgage-lending mistakes come home to roost and the recession costs more people their jobs. Turning that tide will take a lot more than a 30- or 45-day stay on the filing of paperwork. Such moratoriums will give mitigation efforts more time to work and the Obama administration more time to implement the homeowner help on which it has decided to focus more of the financial bailout money. So some folks may be able to keep their homes who otherwise would be out on the street. But you know what happens when all you do is stick your finger in the dam. -- Steve Kerch, assistant managing editor/Personal Financehttp://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/time-out-foreclosures-wont-turn-back/story.aspx?guid=%7B9804716B-D644-4ECF-AAC8-2EF492FBD1AA%7D
"only halfway through a potential decline" "Values will fall for four to five more years,"Really. That's what I've been saying for years. Alexandria might fall a total of 15% and stay flat for five or ten years.My area has fallen about 3% since 2006.This is a real oh-hum. It really is different here (and in DC and Arlington.)
Yeah... compelling argument there...
"John Fontain said... re foreclosure stats: wasn't there some kind of foreclosure moratorium by the GSE's that just ended a couple of weeks ago? could that have brought numbers down some?"JF - yes. Thats why I was basing any improvement for outer couties in relation to inner. Theory being if they all improved (across the board) its mostly the moratorium - but if only some improved (and Arl & Alex remained the same), you can conclude they really were getting better.This could still be the case, but I think Tabitha showed there is some problem with realtytrac calculations. I now think all their PWC data til at least this summer isnt very good.By the way, congrats on the house!
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