“Winter is Coming” but Housing is Heating Up

Game of Thrones is famous for many reasons, not the least of which is the phrase on everyone’s lips, “Winter is Coming” — yet for real estate, the ominous winter is not to be dreaded. Indicators in home construction, lending, buying and yes, even listing, is far from pessimistic. True that traffic in home sales drops off in winter (great for buyers), but also true:  If you are in the DC market, and listing or buying is on your agenda, think of it as “almost-spring”!

The Case-Shiller report is out on the National Price Index, which is up, as expected, on a year-over-year basis (September stats). There are 20 cities in their index….all of them gained. Eye on Housing (a dot-gov publication) interprets the index gain as 10.4%, seasonally adjusted, the fastest growth in three years. And although mortgage rates are on the rise, they are still very market-friendly. In fact, AD&C lending (a strong marker for how the financial sector sees construction) continues to move in a favorable direction.

Locally, construction and inventory in the District is highly competitive. Curbed DC reports that DC home values are “heating up,” and with such low inventory, we expect values to increase over the coming months. And according to Redfin, housing demand leveled off nationally, but in DC, the demand is up significantly. Also — beneficial to realtors and movers — DC ranks nationally as the 4th most transient city in America. This means the market is very dynamic, ie, tight for inventory, competitive on price, and highly active.

stanton-park-ebenezer-coffeehouse-2nd-f-sts-neIf you are a first-time home-buyer, check out GreaterGreaterWashington’s article on buying your first home. Keep in mind that local jurisdictions have some incentives. We are seeing larger down payments and smaller first-time condos and single-family properties, and you’ll see better values in the outer suburbs (if you can tolerate “SafeTrack” on Metro!).

Our recommendation:  The Faulkner Team. Diane, Lynn and I can show you properties in your preferred range and area, and we can give you solid advice on how to prepare your home for listing.

But what if you are neither buying or listing this winter or spring? How should you add value to your home? First, before “winter comes,” you should shore up anything externally on your property that could be damaged by winter storms….dangling tree limbs, loose railings, etc. And consider a remodel of your kitchen or bathrooms, always a great use of your hard-earned money! I loved the article in Wired on thten-penhe Smart Kitchen.

Finally, what’s a MovinInDC blog without a restaurant review!  One of our favorite restaurants years ago was Ten Penh (on 10th & Pennsylvania). It is now reopening in Tysons (7900 Westpark, free valet parking). Lynn and I had a great dinner there this week in advance of the opening. It is outstanding. The wine list is interesting and fairly priced. But above all, the “asian contemporary” (their word, not mine) cuisine is terrific, well-balanced and highly creative.
MovinInDC is a blogpost for people moving in, to and around the DC area. For more information on the news, ideas and trends in this post, please contact Steve Longley, stevelongley.realtor@gmail.com, and check out our website, www.faulknerteam.com. To unsubscribe from this post, please click on the Unsubscribe link below.