It may be Cold, but it’s still the Spring Market

As Spring Breaks wind down and the Spring real estate market heats up, we’re back to the usual topics. This week we’ll cover the latest design trends in outdoor decor. It is technically Spring, right? We’ll also address the latest housing data for the region and how broader factors, like mortgage rates and tax legislation, will affect the Spring market.

And, speaking of Spring real estate, why not come and pay me a visit at an open house for my listing at 1685 32nd St NW? Sunday 1-4pm.

DESIGN TRENDS
As we all long for this Spring to actually feel like Spring, let’s focus on the positive and discuss outdoor decor trends. Not surprisingly, they are similar to what we are seeing indoors – more color, more texture, and more patterns. In a recent weekly, we had highlighted the trend in kitchens towards mosaic tiles. Well, it’s happening outdoors, too. Like the mosaic tile floor in the patio below. And, why not mix up your outdoor furniture in the way you would in your living room? In the porch below, the mismatched furniture and pillows give the space personality and create a collected look. Or, how about a mix of dining chairs painted in the same color? Color is in and there are so many ways to incorporate it. As always, you can check out my Pinterest board for more ideas.

LOCAL REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT
The recent release of housing data for DC and Maryland give us a glimpse into the local housing market. Supply was scarce in DC, with only 1.4 months of inventory. As a result, “half the homes on the market in February sold in 18 days or less.” The median sales price was $532,500, up from $519,00 at the same time last year. Likewise, in Montgomery County, the median sales price of $410,500 was up 5.3% vs last year. Inventory was also extremely tight with only 1.5 months of supply. However, homes take a bit longer to move on average than in DC, with half the homes on the market selling in 32 days or less.

In local development, Montgomery County has launched a new interactive tool that allows you to track what’s going on in downtown Bethesda. An annual monitoring report will be published in May and will include the impact of development on schools, green space and transportation.

REAL ESTATE, INTEREST RATES & MORTGAGE NEWS
With the Spring market in full swing, there’s a question looming on some people’s minds. What will prevail – the fundamentals of strong demand and tight inventory, or uncertainty caused by new tax legislation, higher mortgage rates and a volatile Wall Street? The New York Times has a great article which tries to answer that question. With the 30-year mortgage at 4.40%, rates are higher by almost half a percent year-to-date, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.  But, when surveying potential home buyers, only 21% said they would look to buy a less expensive house as a result. As for tax legislation, the new law is so confusing still to so many people that the affects are expected to bleed in over the next several years. Meanwhile, the supply demand imbalance remains a strong factor and much stronger than the headwinds presented by mortgage rates and tax reform. In summary, fundamentals should win and continue to drive prices higher in the near term.

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