Currently viewing the tag: "real estate"

By Julie Byrd & Erin Kelly

Realtors, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.

The housing market is influenced by the state of the economy. With so many economic developments recently, you may be wondering about the impact on the housing market. To keep you informed, we looked at a few factors that are currently affecting the real estate market.

Rising Mortgage Rates

The recent increase in mortgage interest rates—currently over five percent—are the highest they’ve been in more than 14 years, and these rates are expected to continue to rise throughout the rest of 2022. We have noticed that in some instances, these increasing rates are resulting in hesitant buyers.

Persistent Seller’s Market

It’s still a seller’s market, with low inventory of homes available; however, we are starting to see a shift in the amount of days properties are on the market and the amount of offers coming in. In past months, many homes were going under contract in less than seven days, but we are now seeing homes sit on the market a little longer. We are also seeing fewer offers on available properties—1 or 2, instead of 8 to 10—as had been common. Since real estate is hyper-local though, this trend varies in different areas.

Increased Job Openings

We’re experiencing an all-time high for job openings in the United States. As the job market heats up, employers will be competing for qualified candidates, which should push wages higher.

Inflation

Inflation, however, is currently outpacing wage increases. But, as it stabilizes, higher wages should boost consumer buying power, helping minimize the affordability issues that come with higher mortgage rates and home appreciation.

The good news is that buying a home is an excellent hedge against inflation. While the amount you’re paying for food, gas, and materials has increased, locking in a 30-year fixed rate mortgage will keep your housing costs steady.

If you’re planning to sell your home while it is still a seller’s market, we would be happy to provide you with a comparative market analysis of your home’s value and guide you throughout the entire process. Alternatively, if you’re planning to buy a home, we can help you prepare, so you’ll be ready to make a winning offer. Our best wishes for a great July!

By Elle Smith,

Realtor, J&B Real Estate Is it still a seller’s market? That is the question everyone is asking. And, everyone has an opinion on what they think will happen to the market. I don’t have the answer, but I can share with you how the market today is different from the market in 2008. And, I can share what is happening in our market right now.

In 2008, the market was different than today’s market in that the real estate growth was driven by relaxed-lender practices. Low interest rates and extremely low down-payment requirements allowed people who would otherwise never have been able to buy a home to become homeowners (per Housing Capital, https://homesitewiz.com/home-renovation/best-answer-what-caused-the-real-estate-crash-of-2008.html). The low interest rates and low down-payments created a seller’s market, which, in turn, drove prices of homes up. However, when interest rates started to increase, the buyers who bought on ARMs were now upside down on their mortgages. This caused an influx in foreclosures and resulted in prices crashing.

Today’s market is not driven by these same factors. Low interest rates have certainly played a part in this becoming a seller’s market. The significant difference is the influx of buyers today. We have seen an unprecedented number of buyers entering the market the past several years, causing a strain on the housing inventory. In addition, new home builds are down. Combine this increase in buyers with the low inventory of new builds, and we have today’s market.

So, what will happen with interest rates that have already started rising? It is hard to predict, and I wouldn’t want to even try. What I can say is that interest rates are rising and, at the time of this writing, are at 5.5 percent and are expected to continue to rise through the rest of 2022. There is currently only 11 residential listings in the 21788-zip code. The Catoctin High feeder area has 45 total listings (this number includes land, lease, commercial, and residential). So, at least for the near future, the seller’s market is not ending. It will be interesting to see where the market is when my next article comes out in the fall. Enjoy your summer and support the local carnivals and farmers’ markets.

The “REAL” in Real Estate

By Sandi Reed Burns,

Realtor, Climb Properties Real Estate

Happy spring, everyone! Let’s spring right into what’s going on in your area as of March 22, 2022, according to Bright MLS data.

Thurmont: 29 total listings—made up of land, leases, commercial, and residential. If we only look at residential sales, there are a total of nine and four of them are “coming soon.” (This excludes the new builds under construction, as they are not on the MLS).

Emmitsburg: 16 total listings—made up of land, leases, commercial, and residential. Again, if we only look at residential sales, there are four active listings and zero “coming soon.”

Rocky Ridge: 7 total multiple listings types.

It certainly doesn’t look like much of a “Spring Market,” does it? This low inventory remains to keep the prices higher and limits buyers’ options of available homes.

Here’s a snapshot from National Association of Realtors: “February 2022 brought 6.02 million in sales, a median sales price of $357,300, and 1.7 months of inventory. The median sales price is up 15% year-over-year, and inventory was down 0.3 months from February 2021.”

I’m going to spring right to the point. We need more inventory in order to balance out the market. So, if you’re thinking about selling, please contact your local Realtor® for advice, and thank you for being part of the solution.

Buying or Selling in Today’s Market

By Elle Smith, J&B Real Estate, Inc. Realtor

It’s no secret that the real estate market in our area has been in a strong sellers’ market. And, it’s no secret that Frederick County is a desirable area. I’ve been blessed to call this area home my entire life, and I would not want to live anywhere else. So, I can understand why our area is so popular. Whether buying or selling a home, it’s never too early to start preparing.

During the holiday season, the market tends to slow down. This year is no exception. While the market is still healthy, we have seen a slowdown in activity. This makes it the ideal time to prepare to sell. If you have been considering selling, take this time to get your home ready for the spring selling season.

When I go on listing appointments, the number one question I get asked is “What do we need to do to prepare to sell our home?” The biggest thing you can do is declutter. The less clutter, the more spacious a home will feel. This may involve boxing things and putting them in storage. Make sure all appliances and major systems are in good operating condition. Touch up paint and drywall—neutral colors are always an excellent choice. Enhance the curb appeal: keep grass mowed, leaves raked, snow shoveled, and make a welcoming entrance. Remove or minimize personal items and photographs. Finally, clean your home top to bottom. Try to view your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Think about what would make it appeal to you if you were seeing it for the first time. Updated bathrooms and kitchens will get more interest from potential buyers. And, with the increase in working from home and virtual school, home office areas are increasingly important. Outdoor living spaces—patios, decks, sunrooms—are also a big draw for potential buyers.

Selling your home during the holiday season can be challenging, but do not let it deter you from listing now. There are advantages to selling your home this time of year. Traditionally, there are less homes on the market, and therefore, less competition. Some buyers want or need to buy a home before the end of the year for job reasons. Even if you are waiting for spring to put your home on the market, it is never too early to start preparing your home for sale.

Buyers, don’t let the term “sellers’ market” scare you if you have been wanting to buy a home. With interest rates at record lows and rental prices at record highs, this is a good time to buy a home.

Depending on the property, you could pay a monthly mortgage payment that is less than a monthly rental payment. And, with the lack of rental properties in our area, buying a home is a realistic option.

When writing an offer on a home in this market, you want to be a competitive buyer. So, always be pre-approved with a mortgage lender before beginning your home search. A pre-approval will tell you how much house you can afford and will give you a summary of cash you would need at settlement. Meeting with a real estate agent is also one of the first things you should do. Maryland encourages all parties to have representation, so having an agent represent you as a buyer is in your best interest.

A buyer’s agent will meet with you to discuss your needs and wants. They can create a search for you that will alert you to “coming soon” and “active” properties on the market. They will represent your best interests in the home-buying process. Looking online is great, but sometimes the home you love may be under contract before you see it online. A buyer’s agent can send you alerts the minute a property hits the market.

 Buying or selling a home can be an exciting, yet overwhelming, step. Having a professional there to help you along the way can make it less stressful.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.