Since we’re almost half way through the year, I wanted to briefly comment on the local real estate market. We’re seeing sales of homes! We still have a large inventory of homes with sales with more short sales (selling for less than the loan balance and needing lender approval) and foreclosures (bank owned properties). The loan process continues to be “interesting” with more documentation required and tight appraisals. Fortunately interest rates are remaining low (by this time next year we should see in increase in residential mortgage rates unless the Federal Government decides to continue holding the rates low). I did get a condo under contract and closed in June. Condo loans remain a challenge. Land continues to move very slowly. I have several lenders still making land loans but most buyers will need at least 20% down payment plus closing cost funds.
I am seeing some investors return to real estate. We are seeing an increase in renters and rents due to an influx of renters that used to be homeowners (foreclosure and short sale participants) plus renters are delaying becoming homeowners. Some clients are also looking for land now while prices are down but do not plan on building for 5-15 years.
This week’s Case-Shiller Index showed an increase in home sale prices in several markets (first time in a while). The April bump does not provide enough data to tell whether the increase is seasonal or the start of an increase in values. With the high inventory of homes for sale plus more homes heading to foreclosure and short sales, I don’t see a great increase in values until the market becomes more balanced between buyers and sellers. Some neighborhoods in Central Virginia continue to preform will with solid sales and values. If you’re interested in values in your neighborhood, let’s talk!
I have also worked referrals this year with both buyers and sellers. These have involved transaction on the NC beaches, Blacksburg, and other locations inside and outside the United States. Markets in other areas of the Commonwealth and country remain challenged, providing good opportunities for investors and parents looking to buy homes for college students. So, if you need to buy or sell real estate outside Central Virginia, let’s talk.
If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling or has real estate questions, I am here to help! I need your help in finding buyers and sellers. Please do not hesitate in sharing my contact info, forwarding this e-mail, or sending me their contact info.