Are you hungry for data, information, and predictions about trends in the Northern Virginia economy and housing market?
You're in luck. You can benefit from my attendance this past week at the Northern Virginia Association of REALTOR's 2011 Spring Forecast subtitled "Recovery to Expansion."
Dr. Stephen Fuller from the Center of Regional Analysis at George Mason University who spoke about the national and local economy and the Northern Virginia housing market.
Here's a brief summary of some of Dr. Fuller's findings:
- Northern Virginia will outperform the national economy. Our recovery is paralleling the national economy, albeit at a higher rate/level.
- GDP is higher now than it was before the recession, but with 8 million fewer workers!
- Much of the workforce that was laid off is now obsolete -- they were in jobs that are no longer needed, especially manufacturing and construction.
- Expectations are that interest rates are going to stay relatively steady through December 2011, but will rise sharply early 2012 and beyond. The following chart shows predictions for the upcoming rise in interest rates. Since interest rate increases affect home purchasing power, Dr. Fuller expects that this will cause many potential buyers to "get off the fence," and consider buying a home sooner rather than later.
- 2011 should be a good year overall for real estate because of pent-up demand for housing purchases.
- From January 2010 to January 2011, Washington D.C. area had a net gain of 40,800 jobs. The only metropolitan areas doing better are in Texas (Dallas, Houston).
- Unemployment numbers: 9.1% U.S.; 9.2% Wash D.C. proper; 5.7% for the Metro D.C. area; 4.7% Northern Virginia; 4.3% Arlington (lowest in State of VA). The graphic below charts unemployment rates for Northern Virginia, Washington Metro, Suburban Maryland, D.C. and the U.S. A healthy job market is the #1 reason why people are moving to the area and companies keep relocating here!
- 19% of GDP in the Washington D.C. area is tied to expanding the housing stock.
- Recovery in home prices -- mostly Northern Virginia. Suburban Maryland is not faring as well.
- Current factors for a good market: low unemployment, job growth, pent up demand, low mortgage rates, relatively low prices
- Challenges: consumer confidence, more difficult lending practices, lack of urgency, foreclosures, shift in housing preferences
Your appetite is whetted with this summary of some of the facts, trends, and predictions. For more information, charts, graphs, predictions and statistics, pick up the phone, dial 703-626-0715, and get your hands on the data you need.
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