NOVA Buyers Dealing with Picked Over Inventory

Low Inventory

If you are a buyer in Northern Virginia looking for a bargain for your new home at the end of 2009 you may find the inventory has all been picked over.

Inventory for homes in the lower price brackets is at an amazing low, especially if you are looking for a “regular” sale. In the past the holidays have been one of the best times to scoop up a new home. Often times agents and their buyers think that no one is looking and or writing offers during the Christmas holidays so they snuggle in their beds and wait until January. Over the last few years that has turned into a big score for my buyers.

But this year I’ve been searching for the perfect home for buyers to hang their Christmas stockings but unless they are willing to wait until Spring for a short sale to close or deal with “de-winterizing” a house for an inspection we aren’t finding much to help spread the holiday cheer.

If you are looking for a Townhouse anywhere in Fairfax County for under $300,000 you will only find 41 active listings that are not a short sale or foreclosure. In Arlington that same search criteria will find you 1 property and in the City of Alexandria you will find 3 properties. Since this price point is the most attractive for most first time buyers in our market it goes to show that the choices are slim.

If you are a buyer looking in this price range you may find just the right place but it does mean that you will probably have to look a little harder and have patience. With the extension of the First Time Homebuyers tax credit you have until April 30, 2010 to have a home under contract and June 30, 2010 to settle.

Don’t despair and don’t crawl under a blanket for the winter. Keep looking at remember that the inventory is constantly influx and a new home might pop up in the MLS tomorrow that is just what you wanted for the holidays.

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4 thoughts on “NOVA Buyers Dealing with Picked Over Inventory

  1. Claude-the fact that 1 in 4 homeowners is underwater right now may play a significant role in our low “regular” sale inventory.

  2. Hopefully this will be the nail in the coffin for all those upcoming “TSUNAMI of inventory” stories we hear as the REOs show up en masse.

    They will indeed reappear, but they will do so just as they did this year – not in one fell swoop (driving prices down) but in drips and drops, keeping the market from tanking.

    Hopefully, they will speed up the release a bit next year to keep prices from moving up more than a percent or two.

  3. Hendrik-I can’t imagine that the banks want the prices to go down. The morning money they can recoup by holding on to foreclsoures and strategically releasing them in to the market they better it will be for the local housing market.

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