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.
Spring predictions?Inventory/sales. Consumer confidence. Business hiring.
...Even families who have a little equity in their homes are feeling the pain, several real estate agents said. When it comes time to sell, commissions and closing costs are eating into whatever equity they have left, and sometimes they, too, must put up cash."People keep hearing about rising home prices around here and signs of recovery, and they think it's going to translate into a lot of added value for their home," said Richard Bridges, a Northern Virginia real estate agent. "But it's an illusion. Prices aren't getting better at the rate people think they are." ...
VA-I think sales/inventory will both remain fairly low. I think turnover in housing will remain low for a long time. People no longer are building equity quickly, so it will take time for them to move up. Most people here have jobs, so they don't need to sell, thus we will end up with a fairly well balanced market with low inventory and low sales.I think hiring will remain decent, but nothing amazing so unemployment levels will improve at a slow pace. I think nationally we are 5+ years away from seeing peak employment. It is a little harder to guess how this area will do. We are very dependent on government actions and I am not sure whether the republicans will actually succeed in getting the democrats to cutting spending.
housebuyer,BEST POST EVER!
Cheryl says:"Your predictions are entirely based on national "predictions". You are in the Arl Market (albeit, S. Arl). What are you seeing? "I'm seeing a fairly large disconnect still between Rents/Purchase price.Properties that don't really pencil out at yields much above 1-3%, which worries me to no end.There is lots of stagnation in the 4-500K end, where people who saw the bubble think that they can still get bubble era prices. There are also a fair number of people stuck underwater, swimming like mad, and wierd shadow foreclosures. all over the place.I was doing the laundry and chatting with a nice lady, she says Arlington Courts is littered with Foreclosures but when I look, I don't see them on the MLS.what's driving me ape, is i can't validate data. My best trick for identifying vacant property is to drive around after a snow storm and look at roofs. if Rents produced solid yields i'd say the market is healthy enough.but yields are still lousy.now when properties are priced well, they move in a heartbeat as we have discussed offline. anything under 300K in a duplex or SFH moves in 72 hours for an offer, but then they stagnate as short sales are renegotiated.Now if i could get clear data on vacancies and foreclosure actions, that would be something. If i could also get clear data on how many properties are underwater, it would be something and if interest rates were a point or two higher it would be something.
"I am not sure whether the republicans will actually succeed in getting the democrats to cutting spending."I'm sure everyone here knows that the Republicans drove up spending through the wars, giving many jobs to defense contractors among other things, and leaving Wall Street, rating orgs., etc., alone to ruin portfolios, pension systems, etc., and creating a catastrophe that necessitated a Republican bailout and stimulus once the Dems. took over, to avert meltdown. I don't see much evidence that Republicans are working to stop the wars and cut defense spending; evidence was posted here previously that that was the primary driver of all the increased spending over the past decade. I'll believe they are serious about cutting spending when they focus on this are and believe they are serious about balanced budgets when they endorse not giving zillionaires tax cuts (I'm not talking about middle class here that people in low cost cites misperceive as "high income" in the DC area). I'm not arguing whether spending cuts or tax increases are good or bad, but just saying I see most of the Republicans as hypocrites.
PS I am happy to leave my political views out of the conversation if everyone else will.
http://franklymls.com/DC7374004down 28% from assesed
Ace-I agree there is little to show that Republicans will actually start cutting budgets, but now is a little different than the past. A lot of the republicans that were just elected ran almost entirely on cutting spending. This was not the case with the republicans that won in the 00-08 elections. I am not overly optimistic, but there have been a few small examples of spending cuts such as not raising government employee wages this year and Obama's promise to keep spending flat over the next 5 years. As I said I don't know which way this will go, but it does have a big impact on this area.
MM,You neglected to quote portions of today's WaPo front page article dealing with "hot" areas having little inventory and bidding wars.Examples of Germantown and outer Loudoun aren't necessarily representative. Also, it would have been helpful for the post to break their data out by County and zip.Most of us know the areas that got creamed and the reasons why.
"Single-family home prices have soared 27% in the District and 26% in the Virginia suburbs from the low point, according to a Washington Post analysis of sales records."page 1WaPo 1/31/11
HB, I do not see any of the newly elected R's pushing to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, which would save lots of $ to say nothing of lives, to cut back on defense contractor abuse, or to increase *effective* regulation of Wall Street, etc., to prevent another melt down, etc., which are IMHO the most consequential spending issues past and present. I also see them screwing around posturing about health care reform (which actually cuts govt. obligations) instead of job creation, which would eventually help improve revenues and cut deficits. So I don't buy that argument.I do agree that freezing fed. workers' salaries and--more importantly, because they are a larger share of the local economy than are federal workers--cutting defense contracts will affect housing in this area.
HB Says:"A lot of the republicans that were just elected ran almost entirely on cutting spending. This was not the case with the republicans that won in the 00-08 elections. "Without getting political, Every Republican since 1910, has run on cutting government spending.Reagan ran on that, Spending boomed.Bush Jr Ran on that. Spending boomed.As for the current crop?it boils down to "Let's cut government spending without trimming Medicare, Social Security, Defense or Homeland Security"What the heck the heck does that leave?Federal R&D Non Defense, tha'ts 4%,transportation? 8%. I would suggest anyone who wants to blather about spending should first run the NY Times budget simulator.It's imperfect but it's the best i've seen. Then start making slashes. Tell me where you end up.
http://franklymls.com/AR7502373Here's a typically delusional property.sold in 05 for 600K, went to wachovia for a 500K first trust, and now they want to list for for 575, anfter having tried in the spring to get 625K.Gee. When did the banks become real estate speculators? Oh Right, when Bernanke and Green span started giving them free money.It's a cute house, it's nice location, but i think the better price is closer to 450K. Price it at that and it will move.
Pat-First, I am not trying to defend past or current republicans. You are correct that most Republicans in the past talked about small government. I do think this crop talked a bigger game though where many did mention cutting medicare, defense, and other areas in the government. I don't expect many/most of these cuts to happen, but it is a possibility. If you do not think it is a possibility than housing in this area will do very well. I wouldn't expect prices to fall if the government continues to grow.
Contrarian-It is interesting to see the differences between the countries. Have you seen a more up to date version? This version appears to be ~1 year old.
HB Says:". I do think this crop talked a bigger game though where many did mention cutting medicare, defense, and other areas in the government."Um, The current crop mostly takes Social Security, Medicare, Defense and DHS off the table immediately. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.htmli've included the link to the NY TImes budget simulator. Budget sim I'd suggest you give it a whirl, try it about 4 times, specifically try it without any Tax increases and then without any spending cutsand then try it without cutting Defense, SSA and Medicare.Yep...Then, get back to me, it only takes a few minutes per scenario.
Pat-I have tried it several times, I agree you need to raise taxes. I know you think I am a hard core republican, but I have voted for the same number as democrat and republican presidents. I probably am one of the most moderate people here. I would like to see both tax increases and spending cuts.
HBSo what was your preferred scenario?For me? It was Roll back the Bush Tax cuts entirely, add a millionaires tax, bank tax, carbon tax,sales tax.then slash the war spending.
Pat-I haven't used it in a few weeks (so my wording may be slightly off on what things are called), but my preferred solution is roll back bush tax, add a millionaire tax, carbon tax, cut war spending, push up social security age, reduce benefits, and something related to medicare. I forget the exact choice, but there was something to try and reduce medicare costs going forward.
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