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Real Estate Market Picks Up As We Start the Reopening Process

With the DMV reopening and loosening restrictions, we are seeing the real estate market moving swiftly again.

Those who have been waiting to pursue their homeownership goals during the pandemic are now back out looking at homes, ready to move forward in the weeks and months ahead.

We often see a summer lull in both inventory and buyer demand in July and August, but we don’t anticipate that this year.  Instead, it’s as though the Spring market came late, with the pace of listings and buyer interest being what we normally experience earlier in the year.

Buyers will make up for lost time and, as seen by the recent rise in mortgage applications, are ready and willing to purchase a home. Sellers who feel comfortable listing their home will benefit from this competitive market.

Here’s what most analysts are anticipating as the local market more fully returns to activity:

What to Expect in the DMV Market

  • Buyers have lots of pent-up demand and will find a competitive market even as more listings are added.
  • Sellers will find that prices have continued to rise and days-on-market have remained low despite the uncertainty of COVID.
  • Sellers are still understandably somewhat hesitant to list given the health risks of crowds have not diminished, but those who do list can expect more interest in their home from committed buyers than at other times.

Mortgage Marketing Thriving

  • Mortgage rates for 30-year loans are at record lows – below 3% — making it more affordable to buy a home than ever.
  • Expect a busy mortgage market with a jump of 54% in applications in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. That number is expected to stay high in June.
  • This jump in mortgage applications is attributed to both an increase in purchase applications for loans, but also continued refinances from homeowners who are looking to take advantage of record-low rates on homes they currently own as well.
  • Despite the pandemic, applications for home purchases are now 13% higher than a year ago as of June 11th, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Purchase applications, viewed as a gauge for future home sales, were up 5% last week compared to the previous week.

Jumbo Loan Market Remains Tight

Despite low interest rates, the tightening of the jumbo loan market we saw at the beginning of the pandemic is sticking around.

That means it’s harder to get qualified for a jumbo loan (a loan amount over $765,600 in the Washington, DC area) if you are putting less than 20% down.

It’s still possible, but jumbo loans that have less than a 20% down payment may not be available at every bank, or may require higher interest rates, or may take longer to close.

There are some lenders who are still doing jumbo loans with less than 20% down, so if that’s your situation, we can connect you with the right lenders.

As usual, it’s not a “one-size fits all” mortgage market. Let us help you navigate these murkier loan waters and help fit you with the right lender based on your financial situation.

Making Safety a Priority

There seems to be less fear as people take precautions when venturing out and visiting businesses.  And this is carrying over into real estate.

Here at Dwell Residential, we are still committed to the health and safety of our agents and clients and will continue to follow certain protocols, such as masks, social distancing, and virtual open houses.

Plus, whenever in-home tours are held, hand sanitizer, masks, and no touching procedures will remain in place. All showings are requiring only one small group at a time wearing masks.

What To Expect Moving Forward
For better or worse, the market has not lost a beat and we seem to be back to pre-pandemic highs in both buyer demand and pricing, which is great for sellers. For buyers, there is finally inventory again on the market, making it a great time to move forward with your homeownership plans this year.