R&R Team Newsletter (August 2012)
We have 4 informational items in the Newsletter this month and we hope that you find these helpful.
1. R&R TEAM ANNUAL CLIENT APPRECIATION BBQ: We hosted our annual client appreciation BBQ at Algonkian Park on August 26 and, in spite of some intermittent rainy weather, we had a very nice turn-out and a great time. Everyone enjoyed the tasty food and good camaraderie, the children enjoyed their gifts and many went home with some very nice prizes provided by our co-sponsoring vendors. This BBQ allows The R&R Team and our co-sponsoring vendors to show our sincere appreciation and thanks to our clients for their recurring business and referrals. We thank each of you and we hope many more can attend our next client appreciation BBQ.
2. STATUS UPDATE R&R TEAM MLS SEARCH SITE: While we advised you last month that we were planning to shut down the vahomesearcher.com search site on August 27, 2012, and were planning to transition your account to our new premiervirginia.com search engine by that date, our former vendor for vahomesearcher.com unilaterally shut the site down on July 31, 2012 without warning or coordination. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you and we invite each of you to activate an account on our new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) search engine at premiervirginia.com. This new MLS search engine gives you ready access to all active MLS listings in Northern Virginia, allows you to perform and save multiple searches for properties, provides you with the option to subscribe to auto-email of listings that meet your interest and provides for easy access to the RealtorÂ® on our Team when you want assistance with the site or a particular property. We still have efforts underway to set up accounts on our new premiervirginia.com search engine for all previous users of the vahomesearcher.com search site and for all our current clients. As we complete this effort, we will send each of you an email with your new account info (user name/password).
3. CURRENT MARKET STATUS: Recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports indicate that the housing bust appears to be over â€“ in July, sales of existing homes nationally had increased 9.9% over the same period last year and the median price of existing home sales was reported 9.4% higher than a year ago. In 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, housing price showed solid gains in sales of existing homes and home prices. Locally, the Dulles Market Corridor (DMC) real estate market remains robust and continues to be a seller market. Here are some of the local market indicators:
The current seller market continues to be driven by strong buyer demand and a property inventory that is still below normal inventory levels for the local market. Townhomes and condos that are selling are going under contract after an average of 35 days on market and single family detached homes that are selling are going under contract on average after 47 days on market. Those properties that are nicely conditioned, properly priced and well marketed are selling more quickly with competing contract offers from multiple buyers and, in many instances, with escalation clauses that are pushing the contract sales prices above the listing prices for these properties.
Property values on the DMC continue to appreciate. Market data shows that property values on the DMC have appreciated each of the last 3 quarters and, during the last 3 months, appreciated at +0.4% per month. Market data indicates that this rate of property appreciation is slowing some as we move into the fall market. However, we usually expect to see an increase in buyer demand during the fall months and with what appears to be much unsatisfied buyer demand, we expect to see robust market activity this fall.
Market absorption rates also indicate that we have a seller market for all types of residential housing 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. 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 market" (where economists say that supply and demand are in equilibrium). A market absorption rate that falls below this norm indicates a seller market, while one that rises above indicates a buyer market. Currently, the market absorption rate for single family detached homes has slowly increased to and is holding at 3.0 months of inventory, while inventory levels for townhouses and condos are at 1.5 months and 1.8 months, respectively. Thus, based on these indicators, one can conclude that we still have a seller market for all types of residential resale properties.
Freddie Mac weekly surveys indicate that mortgage interest rates have crept up each of the past 4 weeks but are still near the 60-year record lows that we have experienced recently. These low rates, again, are driven in large part by ongoing European debt problems and our own sluggish economy. As a homeowner, if you are not planning to sell soon, you may wish to refinance your mortgage and take advantage of these once in a lifetime current mortgage interest rates. Likewise, if you are in the market to buy, the current low mortgage interest rates may make purchasing a home now a smart move.
You can review the latest detailed data for each of the above market status indicators anytime by logging onto on our R&R Team web site.
4, WILL SELLERS HAVE TO PAY A 3.8% SALES TAX ON REAL ESTATE SALES? With the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as ObamaCare), we RealtorsÂ® can expect to hear a new round of questions from clients on the 3.8% investment income tax that was included in the legislation. In response, the bottom-line for home sellers is that the $250,000 (single)/$500,000 (married) tax-free net gain exclusions still apply. Gains over those amounts can be taxed at the additional 3.8% rate in the year they sell the home if the seller's income is over $200,000 (single) or $250,000 (married).
But, in response to rumor and most importantly, there is no sales tax on the gross sales price of a home.
Please speak with a tax advisor if they have concerns about this particular issue.
Also, NAR has provided additional information on this issue for your review and has also prepared a brochure which explores the provisions of the tax code for real estate transactions. The Washington Post also recently published a recent article about this tax.
For those of you, including your neighbors, family and friends, who are thinking of selling and/or buying and who want an outstanding RealtorÂ® to assist through every step of the way to success, you need to contact The R&R Team! Our motto speaks volumes: Honesty! Integrity! Effectiveness! That is what you get when you hire The R&R Team! Besides getting the very best pricing analysis and full service support, all sellers receive a discounted listing commission and all buyers get cash-back. Please let others know about our outstanding services and please ask them to CALL US AT 703-421-1433 to speak to one of our well experienced agents.
Each client who provides us with a buyer or seller referral that goes forward will receive a $100 gift card in recognition of their support. Please keep those referrals coming! We need, want and appreciate the business!
We appreciate your continued support and hope that you find our Newsletters helpful. Please let us know if there is any particular subject you would like us to address in future Newsletter updates. Kindly send your questions or comments in an email to The R&R Team or give us a call at 703-421-1433. Thank you.
The R&R Team, Realtors
44675 Cape Court, # 110, Ashburn, VA 20147
MARKET EXPERTS! MARKET LEADERS!
PROVEN PERFORMERS: WORLD-CLASS SERVICE!