This past year Northern Virginia sellers saw a great market. Buyers were out looking, interest rates stayed low and in some scenarios there was bidding to be had, which drove home prices up on average 10 to 12 percent overall, sometimes higher. The year saw an average home price for Metro-D.C. area coming in at $394,500, up 10.2 percent from the year before.
And while there have been questions about another housing bubble creeping up in Northern Virginia, the outlook by most experts see 2014 being a calmer year.
Recently Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said we have reason to be “optimistic.”
While refinances held a good chunk of market in 2013 Nothaft says 2014 is the “end of the refinance boom and the start of a market dominated by purchased money lending,” a first since 2000.
Both Kiplinger and Case-Shiller also see a good but calm market ahead with home prices rising, but at a rate closer to 4 to 5 percent. Interest rates are expected to rise to around 5 percent.
Nothaft adds that a rise in employment can come from the homebuilding industry, creating close to 700,000 jobs nationwide, possibly having the unemployment rate drop below 7 percent by midyear.
Alex Villacorta, vice-president of research and analytics for Clear Capital summed up the 2014 outlook best in a interview with Kiplinger’s Pat Mertz Essweln saying the year will be “unnotable.” —Lynn Norusis