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The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area has been an appreciating market for the last several years. Still, a modest pace of foreclosure will continue even though home values are increasing and regional unemployment stands at less than six percent. Today’s defaults are a result of positions taken several years ago without provision for fluctuating market cycles.

While real estate values always have and always will appreciate over time, there will be interim periods when values fall below the trend line. Market dynamics in Maryland are different than those in Northern Virginia or those in Washington, D.C. Inside the Beltway, some suggest there never was a housing crisis. More rural areas continue to lag recovery trends. Understanding the local trend is fundamental to making sound choices. Read more..

RISING TIDES LIFT ALL BOATS! Every key indicator demonstrates a strong foundation for our local market continuing its positive momentum. Values bottomed out between 2009 and 2011 and now enjoy a stable upward trend. Still, an estimated twenty five percent of owners have a mortgage balance which exceeds the market value of the property. As values rise, equity positions are restored which motivates owners to stay the course rather than pursue a distressed sale. With inventory levels already fifty percent lower than a year ago, and distressed owners more likely to stay the course, low inventory will continue to put upward pressure on prices. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Obviously, there have been peaks and valleys in our markets throughout the current cycle. The fundamental variable which tempered the severity and duration of our negative housing cycle is the relatively low unemployment we enjoy in the DC Metropolitan area. We share the lowest rate of any metropolitan area in the country, virtually tied at 5.3 percent with Minneapolis.

There is a direct correlation between job gains and losses to velocity and direction of housing trends. Home values peaked regionally between 2006 and 2007, immediately prior to the period of job loss detailed in the chart to the right. Home values reached a solid bottom between 2009 and 2011 when we began to see jobs return to our area. Read more.. 

AFFORDABILITY

How much you pay for a property usually matters less than how you pay for that property. Mortgage rates are at all time lows and are expected to hold steady for the balance of 2012. As conditions continue to recover, interest rates will begin their anticipated climb to guard against inflationary concerns.

A $477 principal and interest payment services a $100,000 mortgage when the interest rate is 4%. The same $477 payment will repay only $88,900 when the rate is 5%. When rates hit 6%, the $477 payment only repays $79,560. To borrow the same $100,000 at 5% and 6%, requires a monthly principal and interest payment of $536 and $600 respectively. Read more…

PROPERTY SELECTION

Inventory levels have declined by fifty percent across our region. More jobs, fewer distressed sellers, and low interest rates will continue to fuel this trend. Jobs numbers will always be a leading indicator for housing trends, and for us, the numbers are all positive.

When inventory is scarce, and reasonable demand exists, home prices appreciate. Today, the relationship between available inventory and ready, willing, and able buyers is balanced. We expect to enjoy a measured yet stable appreciation in property values. Read more …

DEFAULT RESOLUTION SERVICES—POLICY DRIVEN VARIABLES
Twenty five percent of homeowners remain in a negative equity position despite the recovery of values to date. Public policy will encourage the orderly and cost effective disposition of these assets over the next several years. These incentives to homeowners will diminish as the risk of another spike in inventory declines.

Understanding alternatives available to the distressed owner is fundamental to competent representation. Resolving default requires a specific knowledge base beyond that typically associated with a real estate licensee. In conjunction with the real estate professional, our Default Resolution team empowers an owner to pursue that strategy which best fits their objective. Read more…

SUMMARY
If you are considering a real estate transaction, thorough analysis and competent representation are essential. We are in a transitioning market. There is potential for profit, as there is risk of loss. If we understand the underlying facts, we can continue to make good business decisions logically and without emotion. I am a real estate professional and accept responsibility for keeping my friends, neighbors, and business community informed as to all aspects of things affecting the real estate portion of their holdings.

If your home is currently listed for sale, this is not a solicitation. If you have a real estate question, I will be happy to answer it, or find the answer. If you have a real estate need, I will appreciate an opportunity to compete for your business. Our team is very good at what we do…our results demonstrate that. Don’t settle for less.

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