The Spring Market: What You Need to Know
What do Dutko|Ragen clients need to know about the Spring Market?
At Dutko|Ragen, we want our clients to know that they are working with local market experts who understand the complexities of our Spring Market and how the seasonality of both the local and national markets have a direct impact on their biggest investment – the value of their home.
What are some of the trends?
In the Metro DC area, the Spring Market begins earlier than most people think. Traditionally, the spring market starts between April and May, but our local market begins much earlier. Typically, our Spring Market starts the first week of February, depending on the weather, and ends around Memorial Day. Cold winters and spring fever, the close of football season, plans to move in between school years, and beating the spring rush are just some of the factors that affect our market.
Often, we help our clients sell their homes for 2-3% higher in February, during the earlier part of the spring market. Most people think that the best time to sell is in May; however, supply and demand is the driving force. The difference in absorption rates of homes sold in February and March means that the demand far exceeds the supply. For example, the demand for homes are just as strong, but the supply is much less to compete against. The average sales price for our clients’ homes is $600K. If we are able to sell a home 2-3% higher in February and March, the difference on the sales prices of the home could be anywhere from $12-18K. This is why we encourage our clients to be the first on the market in their neighborhood. See our active, under contract, and coming soon listings!
What should someone who is new to the home buying experience expect?
Buyers should expect a very competitive sellers’ market, as it has been locally, since 2012. Competitiveness will vary depending upon specific neighborhoods, zip codes, and school districts. For example, the Del Ray and Clarendon communities are hottest in the spring; and North Arlington along the metro, such as Ballston and Rosslyn, are highly sought-after because of their walk-ability and proximity to the metro.
Additionally, other zip codes are equally competitive and we usually see a direct correlation in local communities that are not necessarily metro-accessible but have sought-after school districts.
While this can be discouraging for some first-time home buyers, the plus side is that there are certain times of the year when the market typically shifts to a buyers’ market, such as in June, July, and August. It is during these summer months that we can help first-time home buyers take advantage of the shifts in the market.
For sellers, how do the expectations differ?
Many of our clients are looking to upgrade their homes. Their families expanded and they grew outgrew their current space. When we can plan ahead, we are able to structure the timing and strategy to take advantage of the sellers market and the summer market as the purchaser. Our goal is to sell high and buy low. Planning ahead can lay out a path to take advantage of both markets. We help our clients saves tens of thousands of dollars!
Lastly, is there anything particularly unique about this year’s Spring Market that will be important to your clients’ experience?
It is a very tight and strong sellers’ market, slightly more so than last year; but the biggest difference is that interest rates have risen year after year. While interest rates were historically low for several years, the Federal Reserve recently announced that they will continue to increase interest rates in the coming months. We forecast that the spring market may go longer than usual because buyers will continue to look for homes while the rates are lower.
Final Words of Wisdom:
Always keep in mind that real estate is hyper-local. Your neighborhood, your zip code, and your home is unique. Be careful not to get caught up in national or even local news, as every community and home is affected differently.
We are students of the market and continuously track inventory levels to stay on top of trends. For more information, call 571-249-3551 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.