Still a Good Time to Buy: The State of the Northern Virginia Housing Market

The Current State of the Housing Market in Northern Virginia

In Northern Virginia, we’re seeing an increase in the number of home sales with the warmer weather. You may be reading this blog because of lingering questions as to whether you should buy or rent. Real estate agents seem to be fighting over available listings with the reduction in the inventory of homes for sale.

The Current State of the National Housing Market

Nationwide, the housing market continues to grow at a steady, sustainable pace, and Virginia is having no trouble keeping up. According to Fannie Mae’s (FNMA/OTC) Economic & Strategic Research Group, housing is expected to act as a tailwind for the economy throughout this year and into 2014, despite intermittent ups and downs in market conditions. The volume of real estate sold in Virginia in the first quarter 2013 was $5.4 billion, an 11.3% increase from the first quarter of 2012 ($4.8 billion), which is an indication that the market is finally recovering from the 2006-2011 steep decline in housing prices. So how do you decide if it is time to rent or buy?

To Rent or Buy?

Homeowners were not the only people effected by the market crash. Rather, the decline in homeownership due to unemployment and foreclosure has spilled over onto the renters’ market, with single-family households disproportionately occupying the new renter demand. As a result of the rising demand and limited supply of rentals, the housing costs have significantly increased for working-class renters.

While working-class homeowners (who held onto their home through the crisis) saw a 3% decrease in housing costs, working-class renters suffered a 6% rise in housing costs, according to The Center for Housing Policy’s (CHP) annual “Housing Landscape”.

The long and short of it is: inventory is down (and decreasing), prices are up, and properties aren’t staying on the market for very long. If you think you are ready to buy, now is the time. There are 35% fewer homes on the market now than there were this time last year.

Buying is a Good Option

Unemployment rates are declining, and young adults are taking advantage of the favorable mortgage rates. According to the Fairfax City Patch, in a recent blog, “MarketWatch”, the sequestration has not had an obvious impact on the housing market and sales rates are expected to continue rising. Homebuyers purchasing properties below $500,000 are going to have a difficult time finding available homes for sale if they don’t act fast. With the cost of renting a home meeting often exceeding the cost of buying a home, why wait?

Strike while the iron is hot!

If you’re looking for an experienced Northern Virginia real estate lawyer or Northern Virginia real estate attorney, contact Keithley Law, PLLC today by calling (703) 454-5147 and schedule an initial consultation in our Fairfax law office.

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