Each month the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, the local providers of the Multiple Listings for the Washington region, releases statistical reports for Realtors. And every month we pore over the reports, looking for positive information and encouragement that the market will finally show signs of a recovery. In order to be considered a trend I would suggest that one full quarter of sustained growth is required in order to assure some degree of confidence. While most people associate March Madness with the NCAA Basketball Tournament, I think the real estate market experienced its own March Madness as buyers resoundingly re-entered the marketplace. Each of the first 3 months of this year has shown a new resurgence of activity.
In an earlier blog I discussed the renewed popularity of FHA and VA mortgages. For veterans, VA is the only 100% financing available and as I mentioned, FHA provides an affordable option for qualified 1st time buyers. The statistic that caught my attention this month was not the number of units sold, or the dollar volume for the month of March but rather the number of FHA & VA loans originated. In Fairfax County there were 1384 units sold. Of that number 150 were cash deals and of the remaining 1234, 41% were FHA & VA. In Prince William County it was 62% and in Loudoun County is was 52%. That’s nearly half of all loans in Northern Va. being government loans. The other statistic that I feel is significant is that there were 4324 new contracts written in the same 3 jurisdictions in March, 61% higher than units sold. When April statistics are released we’ll see a remarkable increase in sold units. What this means to you is the pendulum is moving and the law of supply and demand is shifting. If you are even remotely thinking of purchasing a home soon you should call your favorite realtor and get the ball rolling. There are still deals to be found but they are slowly slipping away.