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 We have 3 items in our May Newsletter for you!

We wish you and your family a peaceful Memorial Day as we pause to honor and remember those who have fallen while serving our country.

1. MARKET SUMMARY & FORECAST: As owner of The R&R Team and as a graduate economist/research analyst, I take great pleasure in completing monthly analyses of the residential real estate market for the *Dulles Market Corridor (DMC) and in providing the results of these analyses to our clients in the form of a recurring market summary and forecast. We strive to ensure that the analyses are consistently accurate by using only highly reliable data. For those who have followed these analyses over the past 18+ years, nearly all will attest that the analyses have been quite accurate in assessing the status of the current real estate market and in forecasting its near-term future prospects. 

The DMC market has remained quite hot and continues to be very robust as we head into the summer market. MLS data for the real estate market in the DMC indicate that during the past month buyer activity increased again by 13.4% compared to the previous month while inventory levels increased by 18% during the same period. In turnour analysis indicates that current inventory levels continued to remain approximately 50% of the normal levels for this time of year. Local pundits have stated that inventory levels locally are likely to continue below normal levels while expecting increased buyer activity to continue. With these conditions, one can expect that there will be continued buyer competition for the given inventory and that property prices will continue to appreciate. Sellers in some neighborhoods can expect to receive multiple contract offers for properties that are properly priced, conditioned and marketed and some of these properties may sell at or above their list prices. Overall, DMC property values have been appreciating at 1.4% per month for the past 90 days and our analyzes indicate that market appreciation should continue into the early summer market. Similar market conditions as these in the 2013 market resulted in 7% property appreciation for that year. We can anticipate similar results for 2017.

Our most recent analyzes of market absorption rates indicate a continued sellers market. The market absorption rate for single family detached (SFD) homes indicates that we currently have 1.4 months of available inventory, while the townhouse market absorption rate indicates 0.7 months of available inventory and condo data indicate 1.6 months of available inventory. FYI: Market absorption rate represents the number of months needed to sell off existing inventory for a particular property type based on recent buyer activity. Real estate pundits nationally and regionally indicate that market forces typically need to stabilize home inventory levels at a 3-to-4 month-supply-level to constitute a normal or balanced market (where economists say that supply and demand are in equilibrium). A market absorption rate that falls below this norm indicates a sellers market, while a rate that is above indicates a buyers market.

Based on U.S. economy performance indicators, the Federal Reserve Board increased the prime interest rate again at its March meeting by another quarter point and Fed Chair Janet Yellen has stated that the current economic conditions likely support two more rate hikes this year.  The 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate had increased by nearly 3/4 of a percent since last summer; however, contrary to expected results from the recent Fed rate hike, mortgage interest rates have declined throughout 2017 (in fact, this past week, the 30-year fixed-rate conventional mortgage rate dropped below 4.0% once again). However, if the Fed further increases the prime interest rate as is expected this year, most pundits believe such actions will eventually lead to higher mortgage interest rates.

With continued job growth in the Capital Region, relativity low inventory levels, continued good buyer activity and currently very attractive mortgage interest rates, we expect the DMC real estate market to continue to be quite hot at least during the early summer market. Sellers should anticipate a good market response and price appreciation for their listed properties if they have been properly priced, conditioned and marketed. On the other hand, buyers can anticipate continued competition when making contract offers and may wish to make their purchases earlier rather than later based on upward pressures on property pricing and with anticipated mortgage interest rate increases.

Again, for sellers and buyers who are already active in the real estate market or planning to enter the marketplace in the near term, we highly recommend that you monitor for updates on the local market and review the latest detailed data for each of the important market status indicators on our Team website at this link: R&R Team Blog: Local Real Estate Market Status.….

You can also review Real Estate Business Intelligence monthly updates for Northern Virginia and the Capital Region on our Team website at this link: Northern Virginia Market Watch.….

(The *Dulles Market Corridor (DMC) encompasses the large market area of Herndon/Oak Hill, Reston, Sterling/Potomac Falls/Dulles, Ashburn/ Broadlands/ Brambleton, Leesburg/Lansdowne, South Riding/ Chantilly (Loudoun County), Stone Ridge, Aldie/ Arcola and Chantilly (Fairfax County). The R&R Team has been tracking market data closely in the DMC for the past 18 years.)


2. FANNIE MAE POLICY CHANGES PROVIDE RELIEF FOR HOMEBUYERS WITH STUDENT LOAN AND OTHER DEBTS: On April 27, 2017, Fannie Mae changed its policy guidelines to potentially help 44 million Americans who have student loan debt and who want to own a home or to use equity in their homes to lower their student loan debt. Student loan debt inhibits many borrowers from becoming homeowners, even though homeownership can be an important step toward building wealth. The new Fannie Mae policies are designed to help borrowers qualify for a home loan and to reduce student loan debt. These policies are effective immediately and will empower lenders to:

  • Offer borrowers an option to pay off student loan debt and to get a better interest rate. Lenders can offer homeowners who have at least 20 percent equity in their homes a cash-out refinance to pay off one or more student loans. Likewise, borrowers will have an opportunity to convert student loan debt with a higher interest rate to a lower rate and potentially reduce their monthly debt payments. The latter is possible when at least one student loan is paid off directly to a student loan company. The lender can offer a lower interest rate through Fannie Mae.

  • Exclude debt paid by others, potentially making it easier for a homebuyer to qualify. With proper documentation, lenders can exclude a borrower’s non-mortgage debts that have been paid by others for the past 12 months from the debt ratio calculation in qualifying for a mortgage. Examples of debts that qualify for exclusion can include credit cards, auto loans and student loans.

  • More flexibility in calculating student debt payments. Lenders can accept the monthly student debt payment amount listed on the credit report as opposed to using a percentage of the outstanding balance as the payment amount used in qualification calculations.

These Fannie Mae policy changes will help many to qualify for mortgage loans who otherwise would not qualify.

Contact your mortgage lender for added details (or select a lender from our list of R&R Team recommended lenders on our Team web site). 


3. POINTERS FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS WHO ARE GEARING UP:  Here are some of our more popular R&R Team articles to assist you as a buyer and/or as a seller:

  • When is The Best Time To Buy or To Sell Real Estate? We are frequently asked when is the best time to sell or to buy real estate. We share this article with hopes that it will help clear up some of the prevailing misconceptions that linger among both sellers and buyers as to when is the best time to sell or to buy real estate.

  • Seller Preparations for the Market: Sellers who wisely complete pre-market preparations before listing a property are rewarded tremendously for their time and efforts. We hope that you these two articles helpful: the first is a getting started checklist for sellers and the second outlines detailed early-on actions for sellers. We are always available to assist you with our first-hand experience. 

  • Buyer Preparations for the Market: Reduce your stress and better ensure your success in buying your dream home by using these two articles: one article is our getting started checklist for buyers and the second one is our detailed early-on actions for buyers.

Also, please remember that we have MORE THAN 18 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE to also help you. If you have any questions, please call 703-421-1433 or send us an email today.


We very much appreciate your continued support and hope that you find our newsletters helpful. Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friend and associates and please let us know if there is any particular subject you would like us to address in a future newsletter.  Kindly send us your questions or comments in an email or call 703-421-1433. Thank you.  

Very Respectfully,… .

Ron Layton, Realtor

B.S. & M.S.+ degrees, Licensed in Virginia

Owner, The R&R Team, Inc., 18+ YEARS EXPERIENCE

Awarded Life Top Producer, NVAR Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club

Inducted into RE/MAX Hall of Fame

Affiliated with & Empowered by: United Real Estate

10780 Parkridge Blvd, Suite #80, Reston, VA 20191

Ofc: 703-421-1433, Cel: 703-625-5586, Fax: 1-703-997-8772


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