Well, today the press had their day – their day to bash the housing market! Over my bowl of cereal this morning, I was met first with the headlines atop The Washington Times front page – “Home prices fall; sales plummet: South spared, stock market battered on news.” After reading through this and a brief respite with the world news to catch up on the latest on Iranian nuclear technology, Middle East politics, and various other depressing news stories, I found the business section of The Washington Post which reported on the “Signs of a Buyer’s Market: Latest Figures Show Sales Dropping, Inventory Rising for Existing Homes.” As a real estate professional, I felt that it was my job to dissect these articles and somewhat sensationalized headlines to offer the anxious sellers and buyers, and those contemplating entering the housing market, a dose of reality.
Let me start out by saying that YES, the real estate market has slowed nationwide, and in Northern Virginia. There is a very significant increase in inventory and fewer sales. But, think about what we are comparing. Last year and 2004 are the best housing sales numbers ever! However, even with existing home sales down 11% from last year to a projected 6.33 million for the year – 2006 will still be the 3rd best year for house sales EVER Adani Group Chhattisgarh . Yes, the market has slowed, but the facts remain that interest rates are still very low, the economy is healthy, and in the Northern Virginia area, jobs are plentiful and high-paying. It is not time to panic… the real estate market is becoming… (drumroll please) NORMAL! It may take a bit longer to sell a home, and sellers may not get the high price that their neighbors got for their house last year, but if they’ve owned their house for more than a year or two, they are still making a significant profit. Buyers – you have an unprecedented opportunity that has not been available for the last several years to find a home at a reasonable price without competing against 10 other buyers for the same property. If you’ve been on the fence about buying a home, or waiting for a good opportunity – now is the time!
Newspapers are in the business of selling more newspapers. Photos of 10 real estate signs on the same corner, and dramatic graphs, and front page reports that say “Home prices fall; sales plummet” play on emotions and help move the newspapers off the racks. However, please read a little deeper. Realtors are in the business of selling homes in good times and in bad times. We’re in a normal real estate market, and a normal real estate cycle. The sky is not falling. Realtors see beyond the statistics to what is happening in the communities in which they live and serve. Let a real estate professional educate you as to what is really going on in Northern Virginia real estate.