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Loudoun’s real estate market off to a cold start

January’s cold weather has put Loudoun’s real estate prices on ice, but the market is also primed for a thaw in coming months.

In January, Loudoun’s average sales price was $363,394, compared to $392,641 in December 2010 and $382,119 in January 2010, which resulted in a 5 percent decrease year over year, according to reports released by the Dulles Area Association of Realtors and RealEstate Business Intelligence, a Metropolitan Regional Information System company.

Overall, Washington, D.C., area sales did not quite reach 3,000 units sold in January 2011. Compare January’s 2,963 sales to 4,413 homes sold in December 2010 and 3,417 homes sold in January 2010.  Washington, D.C., saw the smallest decline (22 percent), but Loudoun had the largest decline (40 percent) in sales, according to a report released by Loudoun housing analyst and consultant Rosemary deButts.

Loudoun’s sales dip resulted in only 251 single family homes, townhomes and condominiums sold last month, compared to 374 in December 2010 and 261 in January 2010.

“Activity in January is always slow and it was bound to be slower than last year given that the market is no longer artificially stimulated by the first-time home buyer’s tax credit,”  deButts said.

Donna Evers, president and broker of Evers & Co. Real Estate in Washington, D.C., agrees.

Evers released a housing market report Feb. 14 for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. She stated that 2011 has gotten off to an uneven start for all of the metropolitan area’s jurisdictions. More buyers are out looking, but fewer desirable properties are on the market in the metropolitan area, she said.

“The flow of new listings was likely delayed by bad weather,” she said.

The good news: The number of homeowners listing their homes for sale has risen significantly, which may mean many Loudoun homeowners are prepping for an active spring selling season.

The number of new listings jumped from 364 in December 2010 to 585 in January 2011. This is a minor drop from January 2010, when 599 homes hit the market. This results in a 2 percent drop year over year, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence.

“With the combination of low mortgage interest rates and increased consumer confidence, we should see a steady, strong pace of sales in 2011,”  Evers said.

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Why does the paper insist on printing the real estate agent association’s press release every month?  Here, I’ll write it for you:  “Buy now!  Buy as much as you can!  Sure, you can afford it!  100% financing available again and is a GREAT option for you!”

Of course you say the market is “hot”, you want to sell houses.  The RE industry never showed much interest in customers when they were pushing them into awful loans, so why should anyone believe these people now? 

I used to work alongside developers, there is at least another year of new foreclosures from bad loans out there.  Not to mention the people in limbo due to banks stalling.  Only a fool would buy new right now, especially in Loudoun.  Go to Arlington and it is a different story.

We have little inventory to sell.  That affects pricing.  Market is hot.  Want proof - go to any new home sales office in Eastern Loudoun on a Saturday or Sunday.  Ask and agent how much resale inventory we have.  Take note as to how many new home sites have opened.  Paper may have to rewrite this in 2 weeks!

With the freeze, why has my assessment (the fair market value) gone up more than 20% ?  I like Lovettsville and my acreage but come on now.

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