Home Prices Up! Sellers Come Back! Buyers purchase Now Before Prices and Rates are Higher!

by Karen Briscoe
August 28, 2015

Headlines in many top newspapers including the Washington Post, USA Today and Wall Street Journal proclaim what Realtors® are feeling in many marketplaces – the real estate market is back and strong!  Locally home sales were strong with sales in July 2015 up 15.1% higher than in same time period in 2014.  This is particularly apparent in the close-in suburbs of the Washington DC metro area.  Sales numbers are beating both the five-year and 10-year averages for the month.  Most economists determined 2005 to be the peak real estate year, so having averages up over 2005 is a positive sign that many of the segments of the market have recovered.  (http://thewashingtonpost.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx?noredirect=true)

It seems that the news media is reporting practically daily that the real estate market is back.  The buyers have re-entered the marketplace, particularly in the lower price ranges and want to buy before interest rates rise.  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 2015 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 who 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 the best neighborhoods 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 within the Falls Church area, sales price under $600,000.  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 a successful offer for this client as well.

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 Maintain Solid Growth in July:


Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and Washington DC market place and along with their team of top agents would be delighted to assist whether for home buying or selling.  The Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group of Keller Williams Realty was recognized as Best of Washingtonian in 2015.  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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