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Real Estate

Pending Home Sales Reach 17 Month High Nationally


Home buyers all over the country are buying properties and taking advantage of low interest rates, favorable pricing and a desire to buy while conditions are still highly favorable. in the Northeast, the frigid temperatures and bad weather kept buyers and shoppers out of the market.

As reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) last week, pending sales of existing homes, or contracts signed to purchase but not yet settled/closed, rose 1.7% in January to their highest levels since August, 2013.  Corresponding pending sales in the Northeast rose just 0.1% over prior levels.

January’s totals nationally for new contract signings were up 8.4% from the same time last year.  “The National Association of Realtors says that buyers overcame tight supply and that the flow of new contract signings highlight underlying demand,” commented Gerard DiRuggiero. “They are absolutely correct. Even here in DC in the Northeast, where numbers have not risen as much in the short term, buyers are overcoming a lack of supply and starting the journey into home ownership. Winter here in DC is the ‘offseason’ and the recent extreme weather just drives that point home,” said Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker of UrbanLand Company.  “We coach our buyers who area ready to buy that Winter can actually be the best time to acquire a home. Sure, it’s more fun to look around and tour while the sun is shining and birds are chirping…but everyone else feels the same way. It’s important if you’re serious about buying to take advantage of short term lapses in activity due to things like the weather or overall seasonality. Less competition from other buyers equals success for you in this case.”

Contract signings in January were up 8.4 percent from a year ago.NAR says buyers last month overcame tight supply, and contract signings highlight underlying demand. Positive factors like overall stronger sales, slightly improving credit conditions, improved employment conditions and slower price growth contribute to the demand.

The National Association of Realtors forecasts that overall 2015 sales nationally will rise 6.4% from last year and that prices nationally will rise around 5% over 2014 levels. “If you’re still thinking about making your first home buying purchase, one of the more important numbers to take from this news is the 5% price appreciation forecast,” said DiRuggiero. “Buy now successfully and things like a 5% increase in prices supports your long term goals as a home owner in a big way.”

Want more info? Attend an UrbanLand Home Buyer Workshop. We’ve been running free, small group sessions for the last 2 years. Our current schedule is available here.

Thanks to Jeff Clabaugh with the Washington Business Journal for the news.

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