Effect of government shutdown on DC Real Estate Market

Posted by Abbott Klar Real Estate on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 7:56am

Chart from Rbi on government shutdown effect on DC real estate market
Novemeber 2013 RBI data for Washington DC
As real estate agents we already knew this, but now Rbi has done the math and proved it!  The shutdown of the Federal government had a serious impact on the Washington DC real estate Market.  In a report just released, Rbi calculates that year over year sales in November were down 14%.  So call your congressman (not you DC residents... you don't have the right to representation in the Congress- just taxation) and voice your frustration.

END Taxation without Representation in DC!

We heard directly from many sellers who decided to wait to sell their property until the dust settles, perhaps in the Spring they said.  We heard from many buyers -some who are Federal workers, and others who support Federal operations in one way or another- that they are going to wait a little longer before buying that house they were dreaming about.  Too much uncertainty, too risky, no harm in waiting, right?

Actually, there is lots of harm in waiting.  For sellers, there is the unkown of where prices will be next year (assuming another government shutdown doesn't happen again in January) and for buyers, not buying in October meant that they could not lock in the low rates on their loan.  This could end up costing them real money down the road.  If buyers end up delaying their purchase by 6 months and interest rates rise by just a half a point, it could cost them $150 more a month and over $50,000 in interest over the life of a 30 year loan on an average house in the DC area.  Real money.  Of course interest rates are unpredictable, but it is not unfathomable that rates rise a half a point from theur low levels in October.

So what's a buyer or a seller to do now?  We have always recoomended to buyers and sellers that waiting is almost never a good idea.  We can advise you on the current market conditions, but our crystal ball is a bit fuzzy about the future. 

Want to buy a house?  Do it!  Now is a great time to buy a house.   Yes inventory is very low and you will need to do some extra work to find your dream home, but with fewer buyers out there you are more likely to get the house at the price you want without needing to resort to an escalation clause.  Cool.

Want to sell your house?  Great!  Now is a great time to sell your house.  Inventory is extremely low and the buyers that are out there are serious, motivated and well-qualified.

Want to talk about it more?  Explore your options?  Get more detailed analysis about your specific house selling or buying needs? Contact us.  We are the local experts.

Leave A Comment

Format example: yourwebsitename.com