If you are thinking of either buying a home in the Washington, D.C., area or refinancing your current mortgage, there are a few real estate trends you need to know about. These trends will play a role in determining the type of interest you get on your mortgage, how much you end up paying for a home and what type of homes will be on the market.
Mortgage rates are still low
Concern about rising interest rates has caused a number of people to rethink getting a mortgage or refinancing. Mortgage rates might be expected to increase as 2014 goes on, but for the moment, the interest on a fixed rate mortgage in D.C. is still pretty low. Interestingly enough, the average rate actually fell in the middle of April to just above 4 percent.
Inventory stays low
In February 2014, there were 7,011 active listings in the D.C. area, according to Real Estate Business Intelligence. Real estate trends for the region show that inventory is improving compared to 2013 when there were 6,092 active listings. Levels have yet to reach pre-housing-collapse levels when there were more than 9,000 active listings.
Prices are going up (for the most part)
While inventory is still comparatively low, housing prices are going up in D.C., according to Real Estate Business Intelligence. Prices in February were the highest they’d been in February in 6 years. The median home price for the area climbed to $375,000, which is up $20,000 from the same time in 2013.
Some regions saw great gains in prices. Prince George’s county, for example, saw the median price go up by 25 percent. Not every county saw an increase in housing prices, however. Prices in Falls Church City dropped nearly 25 percent from 2013 to 2014. There is still value to be found in D.C. for the budget-concious homebuyer.
Smaller is better
One trend that might appeal to you and your budget is the rise of the micro-unit. The Washington Blade reports that several smaller-unit constructions are in the works. Some of the condos on offer will be less than 400 square feet total and have a price of less $100,000. Micro-condos are meant to appeal to busy people who spend less time at home than the average home owner.
Turn key is in demand
The Blade also reports that the days of DIY are over. More and more buyers are hoping to get a place that is completely ready to move into, without the need for any renovations. You might prefer a move-in ready home if you’re not the handy type or if you want to pack up your bags and move in without having to worry about fixing a sink or replacing a light fixture.
If you want to buy a home in D.C., spring 2014 might be the best time to bite. Interest rates are still low and housing prices are just starting to climb.
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