Monthly Archives: January 2009

Reduced Inventories Make it a GREAT Time to Sell!

By Maija Dykstra, Full Time Sales Agent

When is the best time to sell?  Right now!  Interest rates are low! Buyers are buying!  (We just had our best December ever with 60 homes settled!)  Many people that had their homes listed in the summer and fall and didn’t sell, got frustrated, and took their home off the market.  They will re-list in spring, but this decrease in the inventory gives buyers less to choose from, and increases the buyer to home ratio in your favor.  A home priced and marketed right will sell quickly, especially during this winter season.

Curious about the real estate market in your neighborhood? View real-time market statistics.

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Washington, D.C. Tops List for Real Estate Buys

Source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (01/21/2009)

The nation’s capital leapfrogged London this year as the world’s best city for real estate investment. With the federal government on a path to grow bigger and increase spending, the new programs will need offices and its employees will need homes.

Forbes magazine turned to the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate for the list of where its member investors are finding the best opportunities around the world.

In normal times, financial capitals, New York City and London, vie for first place. Today, both may even be a little grateful to come in second or third. “There used to be a rivalry between New York and London,” says Kenneth Patton, divisional dean of the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate. “The subject has shifted to the fact that we’re both in the same lifeboat, and maybe it’s leaking.”

Here is the list of the world’s 10 best place for real estate buys:

  • Washington, DC
  • London
  • New York City
  • Tokyo
  • Shanghai
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Paris
  • Houston
  • Singapore

The Creig Northrop Team is licensed to serve all of your Maryland and Washington, D.C. real estate needs. Search for your new home now.

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News from the Greater Washington Economic Conference

By Wes Foster, CEO Long & Foster Companies

Dr. Steve Fuller, Economist at George Mason University says “The payroll job loss as likely to go deeper and longer – perhaps 18-20 months.  There are currently 13 million unemployed, and many of these people will stay unemployed because the new jobs will have different qualifications than those for the people getting laid off.  He predicted oil will still be below $80 per bbl in 2011.  Normally there are 5 million house sales per year (it got up to 7 million a few years ago), and we are currently around 4.5 million now.  Consumer spending will be a negative 1% in 2009 vs the normal 2.5% growth per year.

The Washington economy will have a 1.5% growth in GDP vs the negative nationally due the presence of the federal government.  Where Detroit has autos; LA, films; Houston, oil; a third of our economy is directly tied into the feds, and that component is rising.  Federal spending here will total some $135 billion in 2009.  Federal procurement dollars have tripled over the last 10 years with much of the corresponding job growth going to Northern VA. 

Job growth has averaged 46,500 per year since 1991 with some recent years as follows:

  • 2003 – 56,000
  • 2004 – 71,000
  • 2005 – 63,000
  • 2007 – 29,000
  • 2008 – With one more month’s numbers to come in, he thinks it will net out at 25,000

Washington is double the national job growth rate in professional and business services which have an annual salary of $75,000.  Due to the region’s wealth, our retail trade job growth is 3 times the national average, and other services (such as daycare, etc.) twice.

Steve sees the spread between our unemployment rate and the national rate (now 3%) perhaps growing to a 4% spread. He thinks our economy will begin to rebound the second half of 2009 with a total net new job growth of 230,300 for the region over the next 5 years as follows:

  • 2009 – 23,700
  • 2010 – 36,500
  • 2011 – 42,400
  • 2012 – 48,100
  • 2013 – 54,000

Of these new jobs, Northern VA will have 125,900 and Suburban MD, 66,000.

Needless to say, we are very fortunate to be living and working in this area for a number of reasons.  Let us hope we can take advantage of the opportunities that may be more evident and attainable here than in many other markets.

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The Forecast for 2009: Confidence Returns

CNN predicts that 2009 will be “The Year of the Thaw” anticipating a slow but steady recovery. According to Forbes.com there will be a “Real Estate Resurrection” in 2009. Unlike the stock market, the real estate market is really thousands of mini-markets spread out across the country. While making long-term predictions about prices and sales in specific areas is difficult, there are rays of hope emerging for real estate.

Prices adjusted over the last year and 2009 is set to be a much better year than 2008 with home prices balancing out at more normal levels. The government is helping by getting rates to the lowest levels in 37 years, making homes more affordable. Consumer confidence is coming back.

I anticipate the first time homebuyer market will become more active in 2009 as the new generation of buyers recognize this market as an opportunity to build wealth in real estate. This will in turn help more “Move Up” buyers make their next purchase.

Homes will continue to sell in 2009 with the increased help of lower interest rates. The Baltimore Washington/DC market fared well in 2008 and will continue to do so. There’s an unprecedented sense of “starting over” with the new administration which should also boost confidence among buyers and sellers.

With BRAC right around the corner (Base Realignment And Closure), and the influx of buyers moving into this area, demand will be high, and the appreciation for the future looks bright.

For many sellers who’ve experienced lots of showings but no offers, you may see the buyers who toured your property returning for a second look ready to purchase in 2009. Ask your agent to begin quizzing the buyers or their agents to find out what their objection was to the home, if you find a common theme — fix it, and sell it.

In general home buyers are driven by key motivators that remain unchanged such as jobs, schools, affordability, lifestyle, and health care. The Baltimore Washington Metropolitan area offers home buyers incredible opportunities and amenities in these areas and we are set to outperform the general market in 2009.

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Welcome to 2009!

For most of us, the New Year is a time to reevaluate priorities, set goals, and think about what we’d like to accomplish in the year ahead. We make to-do lists and post them on our fridge, or now-a-days, on our blogs. It’s not surprising then, that many homeowners start making their plans to buy or sell soon after the New Year. There is something inherently optimistic about starting anew, creating a fresh page, with the old year behind us, and the new waiting to be written.

Although some homes still sell virtually overnight, others may be on market longer which means we get to know our clients on a more personal level. We have the time to interact. We become a partner on this great quest. Helping a client buy their first home, move up or size down, working with builders to purchase new construction, and achieving top dollar or a great deal along the way is a very rewarding feeling. It’s why we do what we do.

2008 was a great year for the Northrop Team, as we were awarded # 2 Team in the Country. But this success was not an accident. 2008 taught us a lot of things, and each and every one of us adapted to the changes, focused on solutions, and not only survived, but thrived. We are grateful to all who chose The Northrop Team in 2008 and look forward to building new relationships in 2009!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday and the coming year is filled with health and happiness.

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PURPLE PRIDE!

Perhaps the one event that will bind all of Maryland together this weekend is the AFC championship between huge NFL rivals. The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburg Steelers are set to battle one another in a game that is bound to be the most physical challenge of the season.

The Ravens made their way into the Championship by picking off the Miami Dolphins on January 4th, and the Tennessee Titans on January 10th. Their next victim? Their longtime rivals.

Battered and bruised from a vicious game last Saturday, they rested up and are ready for the fight! Only one team stands between us and the Superbowl on February 2nd.

Despite injuries on several great players, fans are optimistic. Joe Flacco has proved to be a great asset to the offensive picture. A rookie, yes, but one who doesn’t seemed rocked by the pressure of the playoffs. We have a defensive line that resembles a brick wall and has the likes of Ray Lewis, Jim Leonard and Ed Reed who seems to be everywhere on the field at all times.

So, Sunday the18th, plan to curl up in your warm house with good friends and munchies, while thousands brave the cold, to witness one of the most anticipated games of the season take place. The winner moves on to Superbowl XLIII, the loser just moves on.

GO RAVENS!

(Written by Kelley Gillette, Client Care Coordinator)

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