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Spencer Marker's Blog

By Spencer Marker | Broker in Centreville, VA

Out on a Limb

In looking at the numbers, you can see that they are only slightly better than last year over all for the same time frames. That does not take away from this year but goes to show that last year was a great year until the election.  Those are strong numbers for the first 7 months. Then in August, election year jitters just put everyone on hold.  That is the pent up demand that was carried into this year.  Last year, August through December was just slow as molasses but as soon as the first of the year hit it was “Katie bar the doors”!  The market felt slower this last month for agents and depending on the area where they work or the price range they work in it was slower.  There is speculation that rising interest rates caused it and you have seen a couple of articles in the paper referring to another bubble.  I just do not see rates being a huge factor.  My belief is that the pent up demand that we carried into the year has finally been sated so things have slowed down to a normal level.  The sky is not falling and a bump up in the rates (from 3.25% to 4.25%) is not bringing our market to its knees.  This simply means that buyers have some time to make a decision in most cases instead of having to write a contract on the hood of their car and sellers have to price realistically and not add 5% onto the comparable from last week.  Good homes, in good condition, on a good lot that are priced reasonably are selling.  We are seeing inventory creep up, but the hope is that will turn around this month.  I think there are still a fair amount of buyers out there that became skittish when the rates bumped but as their fears calm down, confidence will come back and we will enter a normal market for the next 6 months or so.  Typically at this time of the year the driving factor is school starting.  Buyers want to be in by the beginning of school.  Those that have been waiting for just the “perfect” property will have to pull the trigger soon in order to get in before the beginning of Fall semester.  You will see more motivated sellers hedging their bets and adjusting their prices downward in an attempt to catch these buyers before school starts and not get stuck in a fall market or holiday.  Again, this is not indicative of a market collapsing but rather a typical seasonal occurrence.    August will be an interesting month and I will as usual keep you informed.        

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