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February 2021


Brought to you by Ron Layton/The R&R Team


Buyer Real Estate Activity Continues to Surge in The Dulles Market Corridor!!!


As owner of The R&R Team and as a graduate economist/ research analyst, I take great pleasure in completing monthly analyzes of the Dulles Market Corridor (DMC)* (defined below) residential real estate market and in providing the results of these analyzes to our clients. Our analyzes and market forecasts have proven to be consistently accurate over the past 22+ years...we believe that you may find the results of our most recent analysis and forecast for the DMC real estate market to be of interest in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

MARKET SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK: Overall, in spite of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, DMC residential real estate market activity remains quite robust and is driven by low inventory levels, historically low mortgage interest rates, surging buyer demand and, to a lesser extent, impacts from COVID-19 impacts. Market data indicate that residential housing inventory levels of DMC residential housing dropped by 11% in the past 30 days while buyer contractual activity increased by 55%. While we normally anticipate that the number of listings coming to market would increase in the new year, the actual number of properties listed did increase after the turn-of the-year...however, surgIng buyer demand out-stripped the increase in new listings and current inventory levels remain at approximately only 5% of normal expected levels for this time of year. Overall, there were 611 newly contracted properties in the DMC in the past month versus 394 contracted properties the previous month. In the past month, mortgage interest rates stayed at historically low levels and this served as a primary contributor to the surge in buyer demand. Also, market absorption rates clearly indicate that we have a continuing SELLERS MARKET. Further, the market data show that DMC property values continued to appreciate at +1.0% per month on average in the past 3 months…and indications are that property values should continue to appreciate as we head into the spring market. 

Mortgage interest rates continue to be great news for both home sellers and buyers. The 30-year mortgage interest rates are holding steady at or near all-time historical lows (since tracking started in 1971). Freddie Mac weekly survey reporting indicated an average rate of 2.73% this past week for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.  Freddie Mac also reports that while mortgage rates are expected to increase modestly in 2021, they will remain inarguably low, supporting homebuyer demand and leading to continued refinance activity. It appears that the housing market will continue to a bright spot while other elements in our national economic recovery appear to have stagnated recently. 

Based on our most recent analyzes of DMC inventory levels and competitive buyer contractual activity, market absorption rates indicate that we continue to have a SELLERS MARKET in the DMC. Market absorption rate represents the number of months needed to sell off existing inventory for a particular property type based on recent buyer activity. The market absorption rate for single family detached (SFD) homes indicates that we currently have only 0.2 months of available inventory, while the townhouse (TH) market absorption rate indicates a supply of only 0.1 months of available inventory and condo data indicate only 0.3 months of available inventory. FYI: 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 (a market situation 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 this range indicates a buyers market.  

In summary, based on our recent analysis of available market data and assuming that ongoing efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic will succeed, our MARKET OUTLOOK for the DMC is as follows: to return to continuing JOB GROWTH in the Capital Region; to experience continuing LOWER THAN NORMAL INVENTORY LEVELS for residential property; to continue enjoying SURGING BUYER DEMAND and competitive contractual activity in 2021; to have continued LOW MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES in 2021; to see no change from a continuing SELLERS MARKET; and to enjoy continued APPRECIATING PROPERTY VALUES in 2021.  

(*NOTE: 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 22+ years.) 

For more in-depth data and details from our analysis, please go to The R&R Team website at this link.  

Have questions or comments? If so, please send us an email or call us at 703-625-5586.



Quick Answers to All of Your Real Estate Questions


We have developed The R&R Team website with you in mind that provides answers to all of your real estate-related questions. All you simply have to do is go to the "Resource Center" on our website at this link and, whether you are buying, selling, refinancing, remodeling/repairing or in need of assorted info on the local area, we have attempted to provide you with answers to all your real estate-related questions.

Also, if we missed something, you can always feel free to call us at 703-625-5586 or send us an email




Can You Get a Home Loan After Bankruptcy?



If you’ve ever gone through a bankruptcy, you know how emotionally difficult it can be. There are also ongoing financial repercussions, including effects on your credit score and report. Yes, you reduce or eliminate debts, but the tradeoff for this is that your ability to get credit in the future is impacted.

With that being said, it is possible to buy a home after bankruptcy, but it’s going to take some planning and preparation, as well as quite a bit of patience.


How Long Until You Can Buy a Home?

One big question a lot of people have is how long after bankruptcy can they buy a home?

If you want to get a mortgage, your bankruptcy has to be discharged. A discharge means that a court has released you from any liability on certain debts. A discharge also prevents creditors from trying to collect on the debts that have been discharged.

A discharge of debts is one component of bankruptcy, and it doesn’t mean your bankruptcy process is over, but it is something lenders will want to see before you buy a new home. A bankruptcy case is usually closed pretty soon after the discharge.


What Does Your Credit Report Look Like?

After bankruptcy, you’ll want to monitor your credit report. Bankruptcy filings may stay on your credit report for as long as ten years, but there’s a misconception that you have to wait that long before you can get a new mortgage, which isn’t the case.

You want to make sure your credit report is accurate, and if you’re thinking about applying for a mortgage, make sure you’re monitoring for any debts that have been discharged or repaid.

Along with ensuring there’s no outdated or wrong information, focus on rebuilding your credit after a bankruptcy. If you want to qualify for a mortgage after a bankruptcy, you have to show lenders you’re ready and you’re not too much of a risk.

Right after your bankruptcy, you might have limited credit available to you. Start rebuilding with something like a secured credit card or a small installment loan. You need to make your payments on-time and in full each month.

If you’re wondering how long the bankruptcy itself affects your credit, it can depend. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will usually stay on your report for up to 10 years after you file.

A chapter 13 bankruptcy tends to have less stigma in the lender's eyes because you make payments under a court-approved program. After seven years, a chapter 13 bankruptcy should be taken off your credit report.

Even if the bankruptcy is still on your report, the importance should gradually diminish as you rebuild your credit in other areas.


How Long Should You Wait?

There’s not necessarily a set amount of time you should wait to apply for a mortgage after a bankruptcy, but a good rule of thumb is a minimum of two years.

There are a few reasons for this. Two years gives you time to rebuild your credit in a pretty meaningful way. This means you’re not just more likely to qualify for a mortgage but also get better terms.

Even a small change in your interest rate can have a big effect on your monthly payments and how much you pay over the life of your loan.


Government-Backed Loans

If you faced bankruptcy at one point and you don’t have a lot of money to put toward a down payment, you may have the option of an FHA or VA loan.

FHA loans are geared toward buyers who are purchasing their first home or don’t have great credit. The FHA doesn’t make the loans, but they guarantee loans made by private lenders, reducing the lender's risk.

There is a waiting period.

The FHA will consider you for a mortgage two years after a chapter 7 discharge, but you need to meet certain credit requirements. For a chapter 13 discharge, the FHA might guarantee a loan a year after your filing if you made your bankruptcy payments on time.

You’ll have to get permission from the court to take on new debt if you buy a home while you’re in chapter 13.

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs backs VA loans. They’re available to certain veterans and service members as well as some spouses. VA loans require a two-year waiting period after a chapter 7 discharge, and you’ll need to meet minimum credit score requirements.

Finally, if you’re thinking about a conventional loan, you might have to wait anywhere from 24 to 48 months to qualify following a chapter 7 bankruptcy. With a chapter 13 bankruptcy, most lenders will make you wait 24 months after discharge.  



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