Out on a Limb

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Spencer Marker & Co. - Long & Foster

I expect to see inventory levels creep up in February and the level of activity continue at its present pace.  I hope to see some improvement in the town home sector compared to January as buyers should take advantage of the stimulus before it is gone and investors continue to pluck off good values that are becoming scarcer by the day.  Usually sellers that come on the market in the spring are very optimistic about the market and tend to price higher or push the market a bit.  Appraisals will continue to be a factor so you can only push so far but we will have to see if the market will bear this out.  We have been successful in this strategy on homes that "hit on all cylinders" meaning great condition on a great lot.  So far we have gotten these appraisals through so knock on wood that this continues.  The higher the price range though the tougher that is.  We all still need to keep in mind the changes in the financial sector looming on the horizon.  The Fed pulling out from buying mortgage-backed securities has to have an impact, and big changes have been proposed for FHA financing which will have an impact if they go through, as I think they will.  I believe our market is strong enough to work through these challenges but if you do not or simply want to hedge your bets and you are thinking of selling then you need to get on the market quickly.  For buyers, you definitely need to act quickly as rate changes can quickly erode your purchasing power.  Likewise changes in the qualifying guidelines such as requiring a larger down payment and/or stricter underwriting regulations can take you out of the market completely.  As our market continues to unfold I will as usual keep you informed.  


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