Loudoun County! What's Next?
by Jim Stakem 9/15/2009
Without rehashing the point any further, this has been a very difficult couple of years for the Real Estate market. Our market in Loudoun County has experienced its fair share of problems. The million dollar question is what's ahead for us. Loudoun County is composed of three distinctly different markets. The first and most active is the heavily developed Rt. 7 corridor from Leesburg east. We also have the partially developed Rt. 50 corridor east of Rt. 15 and finally the rural market west of Rt. 15.
This is what I expect to happen in the next twelve months. First we have to look at the factors that influence Loudoun County. We are very lucky to be so close to Wash. D.C! We can expect solid growth in the future as a result of government spending which is currently adding jobs to the local market as well as bringing more private sector jobs our way. We are already experiencing an increase in financial sector jobs arriving as a result of the increased regulation and need of financial institutions to be near the Washington regulators, theÂ Washington Post reported on this in Sept. 13thÂ , and this is just the beginning. We are also very lucky to have Dulles International Airport and the subway connection to Washington in the near future. We are the most attractive and promising market, in the most stable city in the country. Although we have had so many problems, as has the rest of the country, we are very lucky to be in Loudoun!
In the two eastern areas we have a housing shortage! We have a market which at any other time in history would be experiencing explosive price increases. This is especially true in the Leesburg, Ashburn, Sterling/Potomac Falls and South Riding areas. We have multiple contracts on many of the most attractive properties and rapidly decreasing inventories. What we actually have is a market being artificially restrained by mortgage regulations which will not allow prices to increase. Until these prices are allowed to rise many people will simply refuse to sell and we will continue to have multiple purchasers who are frustrated in their attempts to buy. Builders are also having problems with prices, there is simply not enough profit in the residential market for them to risk building to meet the current demand. This market will be stable with lower sales volume and very frustrating for all!
The rural market will experience more substantial problems. It is always true that the further west you go the longer it will take to recover. If you add to that the changing demographics, younger families are more likely to be looking for smaller properties which require less maintenance and a lower mortgage. They also want more amenities in close proximity to their homes. This trend is expected to continue and will seriously erode the chances for recovery in rural markets. The next year will continue to be very difficult in these areas. There will probably be a greater chance for recovery in the urban centers such as Hamilton, Purcellville and Round Hill.
In summary next year will probably look much like this year with prices continuing to increase slowly in the east with reduced sales and we will probably see prices begin to stabilize in the west and sales continue to slide.
Jim Stakem is the Owner and Managing Broker ofÂ Re/Max Select PropertiesÂ located in Sterling, Ashburn, and Leesburg.Â
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