What to Make of the Recent Economic Stats
Real estate is remarkable in both its opportunism and its resilience. Bounce back (it has), trend up (it does), and both lead and lag, the industry is constantly responding, reacting, and adjusting. That’s why your home – present and future – holds so much value for you. So in that context….what is the meaning of the current economic climate reflected in the recently released national statistics:
The Consumer Price Index rose slightly in September. Appropriately, mortgage rates have risen to above 3.5% in what may become the start of a trend. Rates have remained low for many months, and with the CPI and mortgage rates increasing, we could see a decline in home sales in the coming months. Yet Redfin reports steady growth in home sales in September, a pretty good indicator that rates have not increased to an uncomfortable level. The Fed has been poised for an increase for many months, and while some observers think the delay is politically motivated, it seems a certainty that rates will go up some time during the first quarter of 2017. Look for another increase in mortgage rates in 2017. A good sign for all, however, is Eye on Housing’s report that builder confidence is solid in October.
Realtors can live with these numbers. Sellers can too, especially with the chronically low housing inventory in Greater Washington. Buyers may take a slight hit in their loans, but their increases, if managed correctly by the financial sector, still point to a solid advantage in owning a home.
For First-Time Home Buyers
Last week’s news pointed toward an encouraging opportunity for buying a home. DC Curbed cited a Trulia survey that buying is cheaper than renting (I know a realtor who would agree with that!)….36% cheaper. And both the Wall Street Journal and Eye on Housing wrote that the current economy is demonstrating positive outcomes for first-time home buyers.
If you are contemplating your first purchase, keep in mind that programs exist in your favor. Some offer lower down payments; and there are jurisdictionally-specific opportunities you will want to explore. When you are ready (and now really is a good time), discuss with your lender the options you may have. And Diane, Lynn and I can work with you to find a home that fits your housing and financial goals (www.faulknerteam.com).
Lots Going on in Bethesda
A couple of months ago, Clark Construction baffled some of us who love Bethesda with its opposition to a plan for downtown Bethesda. Now apparently, three recent developments: 1) Clark is now supporting the plan by Brookfield to develop space by the Bethesda Metro; 2) Clark wants to be more involved in manipulating the outcome of this space; 3) the story continues to evolve. Who knows what will happen next, but it will likely mean more density. Which is fine with me, because where Bethesda is involved, more density means more great restaurants! But we may not have a resolution of the Clark-Brookfield “discussion” for a long time.
Meanwhile, check out Bethesda Magazine’s showcase of Solaire. Nice!
Just for Fun
Can’t miss this good stuff:
- Petworth is celebrating the first anniversary of it’s Citizen’s Reading Room, as reported by New Columbia Heights.
- Look next month for a Christmas Pop-Up bar in Shaw.
- “DCist” is recommending a novel approach to “Eating Your Way Through DC” — great fun.
- Check out the cool photos in GreaterGreaterWashington’s “Walkways and Crossings”.
MovinInDC is a blogpost for people interested in moving to and within DC and the surrounding neighborhoods. Steve Longley is a realtor with The FaulknerTeam at RE/MAX Metropolitan Realty. Please visit our website for properties and neighborhood reports of interest. As always, we would love to work with you if you are thinking about listing your home or would like to visit properties in the area.