Kathy O'Neal
Fairfax, VA 22033
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New Home Sales: Fast Start But Slower Now

New Home Supply 2010-2012

The number of newly-built homes sold slipped 8 percent in June from the month prior.

This according to the U.S. Census Bureau in its latest New Home Sales report. The June data shows 350,000 homes sold nationwide on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis.

Home sales fell short of Wall Street expectations but the Census Bureau revised higher its previously-released results for March, April and May by a collective 33,000 units. This left the June New Home Sales report as the weakest of the last five months, yet still stronger than the 21 months preceding February.

So, despite retreating from May, the June New Home Sales data was still quite strong. As compared to June of last year, sales of newly-built homes are higher by 15% and the national inventory of new homes for sale is down to 144,000 units.

This marks a 13 percent inventory reduction in just twelve months.

At the current sales pace nationwide, the complete stock of new homes would “sell out” in 4.9 months, a noteworthy data point because analysts believe that a 6.0-month supply of homes marks a market in balance. Home supplies of below 6.0 months suggest a “seller’s market” where sellers have pricing power and excess leverage in negotiations.

Home supplies have been south of 6.0 months since October 2011. This is the same month that marked a shift with other housing data points, too, including Existing Home Sales and the Home Price Index.

Since October 2011, the average new home sale price is higher by 6% nationwide, a trend that should continue in Centreville through the end of 2012 and into 2013 — especially with mortgage rates at new all-time lows and home affordability at all-time highs. As more buyers enter the market amid limited supply, prices are expected to rise.

Given all of the above, consider that If you’re a home buyer in search of new construction,your best new home “deals” you may find may be the ones you find today.  And if you are looking for someone to answer questions about the Chantilly and Northern Virginia real estate market, please know that we are here for you.  We also invite you to take a moment to view our testimonial video, in the words of people we have served.

Written by Fran ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Building Permits Rising

Building Permits

Chantilly area home buyers looking at possible new home construction should know that national stats indicate rising building permits.  And in my own travels locally, I do see more new construction activity.

It would appear that the new construction housing market is ready for growth this season.

According to the Census Bureau, the number of single-family building permits issued in February rose to 472,000 on a seasonally-adjusted, annual basis, marking the highest building permit tally since April 2010 — the last month of that year’s federal home buyer tax credit program.

Building permits indicate future new home construction.

In 2011, from the date of permit-issuance to the date of “ground-breaking”, an average of 27 calendar days passed. February’s data, therefore, is a signal that the market for newly-built homes should be strong this year.  Recent homebuilder confidence survey data supports this as well.

As buyer foot traffic climbs, homebuilders expect to make more sales in the next 6 months than at any time since the housing market’s crashed. Builder confidence is at a 5-year high.

Of course, progress is not straight up.  Last month single-family housing starts slipped.

As compared to January, February’s single-family housing starts fell by 50,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. The 10% drop represents the largest one-month drop since February 2011. It’s a statistic that may suggest that this year’s results are simply seasonal.

But buyers should be aware that the good news has another side.

Rising permits and builder confidence may mean that Northern Virginia area  homebuilders will be less willing to negotiate with today’s buyer on upgrades and/or home prices. However, as more new home supply is set to come online, excess housing stock could help keep home prices low.

All the more reason you need a real estate agent who is working on your behalf, as a Buyer Broker, when you are dealing with new construction.  If you are searching for an integrity based real estate professional to help you with the home buying or selling process, we invite you to take a few moments and watch our Testimonial Video which features honest commentary on how we serve our clients.  Let us know how we can help.  And if you are moving into the Northern Virginia area, we would love to be of assistance.

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Building Permits Up In All 4 Regions Of The US

Housing Starts (Apr 2009 - Mar 2011)We see from a Census Bureau report that seasonally-adjusted, single-family Housing Starts were up in March by  8 percent over February’s 2-year low.

But don’t take this data too literally, because there is a statistical problem in the data’s margin or error.

As noted in the footnotes, there’s no “statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change [in Housing Starts] is different from zero.”

It is possible that housing starts went down or up, given this margin of error.

What may be more noteworthy is Building Permits data. As compared to February, permits were up by 6%.  Permits can be a good forward indicator of housing.

After permits are issued, 86 percent of them will typically start construction within 60 days.  The implication is that new home sales and housing stock should follow the Building Permits report trend, but on a 2-month delay.

All four regions showed increases last month:

Amidst all of the other challenges, this may be at least one good piece of information.

Will the market be less favorable for those looking at new construction say five or six months from now?  That is certainly possible.  In any case if you are looking at homes for sale in Chantilly or elsewhere in Northern Virginia, we will help you get the best deal either on new construction, normal resales, or distressed properties.

Let me know how my team and I can help.  We are here for you!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Good Information If Moving To Northern Virginia

Average Commute Times In The US, By County

Many Chantilly and Centreville home owners are no strangers to long commutes.

You may find this data from the American Community Survey (ACS) of interest.  It is based on data from 3 million households, and includes average commute time along with lots of data for every community in the nation“.

You will find information that includes:

The survey data also gives you average commute time by county. (Also see chart at top.)

This information is potentially useful to Chantilly and Northern Virginia area home buyers and sellers, or those relocating to Northern Virginia, because it provides lots of neighborhood information.  Also know that if you need home price information on Northern Virginia homes that have sold, do take advantage of our MARKET  SNAPSHOT tool.  It will give you actual sold prices of homes in Northern Virginia neighborhoods.  Great to know if you are relocating, or looking at homes in a particular community within this area.

And, if you are moving into the Northern Virginia area, visit our Area Living as well as the School Reports pages of our website.  We are here for you, so let us know if we can help!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »