Real Estate Market Update – February 2011

February 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Spring is right around the corner, which means real estate activity is picking up.

Big news right now is in the mortgage market, and the potential effects (read: higher rates to come) of several administration proposals. The Administration’s report on housing finance proposes letting the jumbo loan limit for our area drop back to $625,500, down from the current $729,750.  That means higher rates for buyers looking to finance more than that amount.  They followed it up with proposals to eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who play integral roles in keeping the national mortgage market stable.

Increased rates would surely put a damper on the recent increase in sales we’ve seen both locally and nationwide, spurred by improved affordability.  Inman reports that it’s now cheaper to buy than rent in 72% of the largest US cities, including our area, as shown on this cool interactive Trulia map.  To add insult to injury, FHA recently announced their intention to, yet again, raise their monthly insurance premium.

Real estate assessments are either out or due out shortly for our local jurisdictions.  Arlington and Falls Church both saw increases in assessed values.  If you’re a homeowner and think that your property is over-assessed (and therefore your tax bill is too high), contact us for help in researching comparable properties or sign up for a free ongoing market data report for your neighborhood.

We have several upcoming classes for first time home buyers, home sellers, and investors on March 2 and April 13 – click here to register. Do you know someone thinking of buying or selling?  Forward them this newsletter!

If you know someone looking to move, please don’t hesitate to contact us. NOW Is the time to start getting a home ready for the spring market if you’re thinking of selling — contact us for a no obligation market analysis of your home.

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