Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The market's NOT dead!

This week's market update...
  • This past weekend witnessed a "reversal" in some of the trends we've been seeing over the last couple of months. Open houses were well attended (In some cases OVER attended. One agent in my office had a well-located listing in Dupont Circle that saw more than 150 groups of visitors come to its open house on Sunday, standing room only in the small condo); and some listings even had multiple offers. Is this a new trend? I have no idea. It does underscore that listings ARE selling --- the doom and gloom that may have been reported recently in the media may be premature. Properties that look great (think Pottery Barn), are well-located (think near Metro), and are well-priced (think JUST BELOW recent sales) will sell no matter what, in just about any market.
  • Last week, I wrote about some upcoming legislation relating to termite damage that would affect DC home sellers. It turns out the information we had, already sketchy, was sketchier than we thought. The legislation actually affects MARYLAND home owners who are selling their homes. The legislation has been PROPOSED, but local termite inspection firms are already taking the proposed legislation as gospel. Basically, the new legislation states that when a home is sold, if there is a termite inspection that reveals either an active termite infestation, OR evidence of previous termite damage OR evidence of a previous termite treatment, the home MUST BE TREATED with a liquid termite treatment. I should have more definitive information within the next few days. Stay tuned. Where Maryland goes, DC and Virginia are soon to follow.
  • A recent article in the Washington Post reveals some major changes to the FHA loan program, which will make these loan products much more attractive to many first-time home buyers. In the recent past, FHA loan requirements obligated sellers to do all sorts of repairs --- major and minor --- before a loan could close. Many of these obligations were quite burdensome to sellers. As a result, many home sellers would refuse even to consider buyers who were using FHA loans. In a market where there were 20 offers on the table, it didn't affect sellers very seriously. As we enter a market where multiple offers may or MAY NOT materialize, this change in FHA regulations may affect more and more transactions.

No comments: