Since the announcement of the Amazon HQ2 and major volatility in the stock market as a Northern Virginia Realtor my phone has been constantly ringing with questions and investors flocking in the area to invest before the market becomes too expensive.
Similar anxiety has been seen with my first time home buyers and buyers/sellers who were planning to buy and sell. Sellers, who plan to be on the market are questioning their decision to sell or hold off for the next few years.
For the past decade during the holidays we have a sluggish housing market. Homes are on the market remain for a bit longer compared to our spring – fall market in Fairfax or Loudoun County. We have seen a very strong surge in the marketplace during the 2018 holiday season. Homes that were sitting with no offers in Nov. 2018 are under contract or getting constant foot traffic. New listings are getting under contract in a very short time. Struggle to find a home for my buyers continues.
It could be both. If you have read my past blogs (even 5 years ago) you know I have always believed in the DC metro real estate market.
Amazon may be a tip of the iceberg for this area. We have many other employers who have announced to have an office or headquarters in the region along with a huge presence of our government contractors employment opportunity in the area.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment of Arlington in Oct.2018 was at 1.9 and overall in Northern Virginia around 3.2.
While the region may not be prepared with their schools and transportation along with a rising cost of living. The future will be an increase in wages with a high employment demand in the area.
In the short run, we are not in a bubble. We are going to see an appreciation across the DMV housing market. The reason is DC Metro is bringing high-income employment opportunity. And all those coming to our region especially folks from West coast or developed countries bringing a liquid asset to our region. Cash transactions or a larger down payment transaction in near future may be common to our marketplace. This may impose challenges for buyers especially millennium buyers and 1st time home buyers who have limited downpayment and/or affordability.
The interest rate may be least of our problem. Buyers and investors want a piece of our housing pie.
My personal opinion is similar to NY, San Franciso or Seatle we will have a steady increase in our housing pricing for the next 3-5 years. After that, we will have a correction or a slow down. The reason for the correction or the slow down may be affordability and ability to telecommute from anywhere in the world.
With cloud-based employment, the employers may have a physical address in our region but can let the mass workforce work from anywhere. This may lead to people moving to an area that is cost-effective, warmer weather, and/or close to their family to strike a better work-life balance.
If you plan to invest in the DC metro area be sure you understand we are politically sensitive region. A major change or incident can trigger things either direction.
Unless we can buy a home on Mars this area will go through its roller coaster ride of the housing market just like a century ago. Invest as a long term investor in the area rather than a quick flip and cash out investor.