2012 Real Estate Predictions for Arlington County

After reviewing my 2011 predictions, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and make my 2012 predictions public. Because it’s an election year and so much is up in the air, it’s hard to really know what involvement the Government will play in this years housing market with so much focus on campaigning. I’m sticking to general themes in the market for the year. So here goes, in no particular order….

1. Interest Rates Will Remain Below 5%. With many economists optimistic about our recovery in 2012, I think rates will continue to stay low, but I don’t see them decreasing anymore than the usual daily fluctuations (meaning it may go back down below 4% here and there, but they won’t remain there permanently).

2. Prices and Sales Will Increase. Our inventory decrease last year I think was caused by a lack of equity and/or fear of the market. Now that prices are starting to increase again, I think more sellers will get into the market making more properties available for sale. We’ll see more “move up” buyers and first-time buyers getting into the real estate market.

3. Foreclosures and Short Sales Will Decrease, Slightly. While I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Short Sales or Bank-Owned Foreclosures, I do think the overall percentage will be less than 6% (last years market share).

4. The market will be “stable.” I don’t think we’ll have a double dip, nor do I believe it will remain a buyers or sellers market, although we will continue to see multiple offers on some properties. A stable market means our supply and demand will be evenly matched.

5. More New Construction Will Go For Approval, Financing, and Construction. One of the indicators of economic recovery is new home sales. That doesn’t necessarily mean actual sales and/or construction, but how many builders are applying for permits or submitting plans to the County? Starting the process shows faith in the market and intent to put money into housing. Last year I predicted projects that had been in limbo would get financing, this year I am predicting that we’ll see more new projects get started by putting the necessary “wheels in motion” to eventually bring new inventory into the Arlington real estate market.

So there you have it! I’m trying to beat my 3.5-4/5 from 2011, so here’s hoping to a perfect score this time next year – if I am right, it’ll be a great time for the growth in our real estate market.