Home Prices Up! Sellers Come Back! Buyers buy Now Before Prices are Higher!

by Karen Briscoe
August 23, 2013

Headlines in many top newspapers including the USA Today and Wall Street Journal proclaim what Realtors are feeling in many marketplaces – the real estate market is back and strong!  According to the National Association of Realtors® recently released data, July 2013 experienced the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.  The last time that scenario was seen was between January 2005 to May 2006.  In the Northeast market where I practice real estate, the median price in July 2013 was up 6.7% over July 2012.

It seems that the news media is reporting practically daily that the real estate market is back.  The buyers have entered the marketplace in droves, particularly in the lower price ranges and what to buy before interest rates rise more.  The Sellers don’t seem to be completely convinced because inventory in many sub-markets is till uncharacteristically low.   So Sellers come back!  Buyers buy now before prices and rates are higher!

In the Washington, DC metro area in 2013 the “jumbo” conforming loan amount is $625,500.  This loan “conforms” to the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines.  Buyers typically utilize a 20% down payment loan, which means anything in the $750,000 to $800,000 a buyer frequently obtains a conforming loan.  Homes on the market priced up to $800,000 are in the “sweet spot” of the Northern, Virginia market area.  These homes are selling fast – often with multiple offers and escalation clauses.

Recently agents on my team have been working with buyers have been successful in helping them win offers they have made on homes in the Northern Virginia area.  One of them wanted to purchase a single family home in Arlington for under $1 million.  This is particularly challenging because the builders have returned to the market place and are buying any decent lot in this price range in Arlington.  In many cases we are finding it necessary to include an escalation clause and minimum contingencies in order to win the deal for our client.

The other client was in the market to purchase a town house with a 1 car garage in the Tysons Corner area, sales price under $700,000.  She believed that it is her right to have a home inspection so that she could fully understand the condition of the property.  We wrote 3 offers and finally due to me being aggressive and proactive were able to be successful for this client.

The missing element in my experience is more homes to buy in these market segments.  Currently homes priced under $1 million in the Northern Virginia market place are at an all time low supply relative to demand.  Sellers come back – the buyers are back and all we need now is your home to buy!  Buyers buy now before prices and rates are even higher!

The link to the National Association of Realtors ® press release:  Existing-Home Sales Spike in July released August 21, 2013:


Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC market place and would be delighted to assist whether for home buying or selling.  The Huckaby Briscoe Group of Keller Williams Realty was recognized as one of the Wall Street Journal Top Real Estate Teams in the United States.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:  www.HBCRealtyGroup.com, 703-734-0192, Homes@HBCRealtyGroup.com.

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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