Real Estate in Annandale, VA
Annandale Real Estate
Year to Date Has Been Strong
By: Scott Pearson, Pearson Realty
I am pleased to write that the Annandale real estate market has been strong this year, without overheating. Overall pricing has ticked up only about one percent over last year, but we are witnessing about twice the market activity than in 2014. These are indicators of a market that has finally emerged from the doldrums suffered since 2008-9 and which can claim a healthy environment for both buyers and sellers.
One of the obvious signs of a healthier market is that there is a 55% increase in available inventory compared to last year. In 2014 the market was being dragged down by too little inventory available for buyers. With a dearth of inventory, buyers will often become frustrated and decide to wait.
Right now there are about 200 homes available in the Annandale market and though that number will drop as we get closer to fall, that is a sign of a healthy market. Meanwhile, people’s concerns about whether actions by the Federal Reserve will cause an uptick in interest rates has spurred some buying, however, recent market activity suggests that interest rates will maintain their historic lows through the remainder of this buying season.
The median price of a home in Annandale continues to be in $530-540,000 range with the average house size to be around 2,100 square feet. Once listed, most houses are sold within two months. This is an increase from 2014 when there was little being sold, therefore, houses moved a bit faster from list to sold.
The wrinkle on the horizon for the real estate market is the demise of the HUD-1 which is being replaced by a consumer disclosure form mandated by the federal government. The HUD-1 is that form that looks like a balance sheet that you see at settlement which shows the buyer and seller what they are paying for each line item and what they will receive out of settlement proceeds.
The HUD-1 was usually prepared by the settlement company, however, the new disclosure form will be prepared by the lender and must be presented to the buyer at least three days prior to settlement. The fines that can be levied against the lender for errant preparation and delivery of the disclosure form are astronomical, so we can expect that lenders will spend extra time making sure that the information is correct.
Additionally, the buyer can reject the form for some reasons and, therefore, push settlement out another ten days. Right now the dates of settlements are pretty much set in stone under the terms of the purchase agreement. When the new forms start rolling out, buyers and sellers will need to be far more flexible with settlement dates to accommodate the new federal mandates.
What does this mean? For buyers, it means that they will receive a disclosure form that is supposedly designed to present information in a more consumer friendly way. Frankly, I am not entirely sold on whether the form actually accomplishes that goal. For sellers, it adds another layer of uncertainty to closing as buyers are provided additional avenues for walking away or unreasonably delaying the closing date.
I am certain that it will take some time for the industry to get used to the new form and how it is processed. There will be stutter steps along the w
ay, and we in the industry must do our level best to continue to assist our clients in this modified environment. However, in the end I’m certain we will get used to the change and adapt without upsetting the marketplace.
Median Sales Price of Annandale Homes
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