Real Estate Does Not Hibernate
By: Scott Pearson, Pearson Realty
Many people have the wrong impression that the real estate market goes into hibernation during the winter months. This is not true. While the real estate market has seasonal patterns, selling your home or commercial property is just as viable in winter, especially in the Washington, D.C. market.
Many people move in and out of Northern Virginia due to transfers within the federal government offices and within government contractors, let alone relocations after major elections. These moves are made without regard to the calendar. Particularly, military families are transferred based solely on need, and not based on snowy ground.
We have both buyers and sellers that are quite active right now, and for the next few months. Recently, one seller pulled their listing because they decided not to celebrate the holidays while vacating for open houses. This is quite understandable for their family, but it has little to do with opportunities in the market.
There are advantages to selling during the winter months. There is less competition for buyers as the amount of available inventory shrinks. However, since all of the buyers don’t disappear, and some feel compelled to move during December and January, a willing seller can still capture a great deal.
Buyers too can benefit from holiday shopping into and through January. Although the inventory is smaller, some homes have lingered on the market since fall, and some sellers are willing to accept competitive offers due to the passage of time on the market. This makes the market particularly ripe for investors to snatch-up deals.
Historically, Fairfax County adds approximately 5,000 additional people to its population each year. That’s over 1,000 families seeking new residences, and they don’t all arrive in the Springtime. Other folks, and many retirees decide that one more winter in Northern Virginia is too much. They start shopping in Florida while listing their Northern Virginia home in winter.
So, if you think that you might wish to buy or sell a home, don’t let Old Man Winter talk you out of it. Depending on your situation, this may be the right time to move. Housing prices in Annandale will likely rise next year along with interest rates. New lending rules might affect the availability of financing for residential and commercial property. And, other uncertainty exists over the next calendar year.
Acting now, you will command attention without the need to speculate what tomorrow might bring. Remember, the ground may be frozen, but the housing and commercial property market continues to be warm and inviting.
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