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Why Fall is a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home in Washington D.C.

Real Estate News Fleur Howgill September 22, 2023

A new housing season is approaching and whether it’s the weather or interest rates, nothing lasts forever.

The interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased again last week from 7.21% to  7.27%, as CNBC and many other news outlets noted, and the demand for mortgages has stalled at a level not seen since 1996.

However, like other trends of the mid-90s (slip dresses and chokers, anyone?), those high rates won’t be around forever. As reported in D.C.’s UrbanTurf, the Mortgage Bankers Association put out its forecast for where it sees rates heading in the next two years and the good news is – down.

The MBA expects rates to average: 

  • 6.2% in Q4 2023
  • 5.0% Q4 2024
  • 4.6% in Q4 2025

UrbanTurf also wrote a timely post last week about three metrics that will determine the direction of the D.C.-area market in the coming months, so head over there to read: Listings, Rates, Prices: The 3 Most Important Charts For the Fall Housing Market.

Get Ready for a Busy Fall

Zillow also has a fall housing preview and in-house economist Jeff Tucker shares three reasons Why Early Fall Could Be the Next Housing Market ‘Sweet Spot’. Houses are staying on the market longer, which means buyers have more negotiating power, mortgage rates have become less volatile and hikes seem to be slowing down, and sellers who have been slow to put their houses on the market are getting antsy, according to Zillow.

“At this time of year, the drop-off in demand from competing buyers is steep enough to outweigh the lack of new listings. Determined buyers who know what they want will find they’ve got a lot more elbow room at open houses, and more leverage at the negotiating table this fall.”

Along the same lines, Realtor.com explains what the most recent real estate statistics mean for both homebuyers and sellers as the fall homebuying season unfolds (spoiler alert: they’re cautiously optimistic). As I mentioned in my Monday post, Realtor.com’s economic team “has identified the very best week to buy a home in 2023: Oct. 1–7. Historical data suggests buyers can save more than $15,000 on median home prices this week as they pore through up to 18.9% of new listings compared with the beginning of the year.”

Buying and Selling Despite the High Interest Rates

Finally, MarketWatch has a great story on exactly who is buying and selling homes right now.

The list includes:

  • Expanding families looking for more space or who want to move closer to family.
  • Formerly remote workers who are being called back into the office after the pandemic.
  • Homeowners selling rental properties or second homes (including retirees who are downsizing and simplifying their lives.)
  • Homeowners who are going through a divorce, a breakup, or were recently widowed.

In all of these cases, there are homes being sold, and in most cases, new homes being bought. And in all cases, a good local realtor can be a huge asset. If you are thinking about selling, buying or upgrading to a new home, we can help.

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