If you're only a casual follower of the real estate market, you've probably caught tidbits here and there on the news. There's lots of scare stories out there: foreclosures, short sales, resetting ARMs, banks going out of business, plummeting prices, etc.
It's enough to transform you from a ready, willing and able homebuyer into a cowering, spineless, anonymous creature who'd rather hole up in a cave somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan than take your chances at entering into the tumultuous real estate market.
Had you been planning to sell your house you may have decided to stay still or rather pull your turtleneck over your head and hide for a few years until things get sorted out.
You hear it screaming from the television, the internet sites, and the newspapers: stay away from the housing market, it's scary out there. Yikes! Watch out! Prices are still going down. It could be a double dip.
Casual observers, I'm happy to report that in the D.C. area, it's not a disaster.
Au Contraire, Mon Frère!
That's French for "on the contrary, my brother!" While I don't get to use my high school French language skills often (Spanish would have probably been a much better and more useful choice), this cute rhyming phrase works perfectly here.
According to the Washington Business Journal (WBJ) and a report by the National Association of REALTORS, housing prices in the D.C. area ROSE 3.8% from the end of 2008 to the end of 2009.
Not what you expected or what you've been lead to believe!
The WBJ article states that in the Washington region, single-family home sales averaged prices of $306,200 compared to a price of $295,100 in the final quarter of 2008. Area condominium prices were down just 1.3 percent from a year ago to a price of $239,000.
Moreover, on a national level, in the fourth quarter, 67 of the nation's largest 151 metro areas had higher median single-family home prices. While, it's less than half of these metro area, it does bode well for many more regions than you might have thought.
Mortgage interest rates are still very low. The Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit is still available (though time is running out).
For analysis and a consultation regarding your options in today's Northern Virginia and D.C. real estate market, make sure to contact a seasoned real estate professional. That's me!
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