Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Short Sales Replacing Foreclosures Locally!

Take a quick look at the chart below and you will see foreclosure sales, as a percentage of our market, are at their lowest point in the last two years. At the same time short sales are near their peak. As we look forward to the coming year the trend appears to be increasing numbers of short sales not foreclosure sales. It is hard to understand why this is occurring while banks are continuing to foreclose on properties, but the reality is that banks are foreclosing, holding the properties in their inventory, and simply not reselling them. It will be interesting to see if the banks are going to use some other method to move REO's from their inventory.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shadow Inventory Report - CoreLogic

The December 2011 shadow inventory report from CoreLogic has just been released. This report shows that the shadow inventory has been unchanged in the last quarter and is still at January of 2009 levels. This represents a five month supply of homes in the shadow inventory. For an in-depth report click here .

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Housing Crash 14% Worse Than Reported!

The housing crash of the last few years was 14% worse than it had been reported. This error was caused by the error in the numbers that were reported by the national Association of realtors. For a complete explanation click here for a comprehensive CNBC article.

Existing Home Sales Increase 4%!

Existing home sales increased 4% in November, however the sales numbers were revised downward over 10% because of NAR statistical errors. more

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mortgage Fraud - Ashburn Real Estate Agent Charged!

The Washington Examiner is reporting that a local Real Estate Agent has been charged in a mortgage fraud case! more

Friday, December 16, 2011

An early Christmas present from VDOT!

The final link of the Atlantic Parkway, which parallels Route 28 to the east, has opened. This small piece of road can actually make a major difference for many of us. The new portion of the Atlantic Parkway connects from Church road to Magnolia Road. You can now travel from Sterling Boulevard to the Dulles Town Ctr., Mall and beyond without having to utilize Route 28. This will provide a convenient method of travel to the shopping centers and mall as well as to Orbital Sciences. Give it a try, I think you'll like it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NAR sales statistics revised down!

The National Association of Realtors has recently announced what many people have been aware of for years, that they have been significantly overstating the number of homes sold! This is an embarrassing mistake that need not happen. The real problem stems from their collection methods and formulas, for many years their data collection method was the best available however now that most of the nations courthouses are automated there are far more accurate statistics available. If you are interested in more accurate information check out CoreLogic!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Detailed Report! Real Estate Loudoun County Nov. 2011

The November numbers are in and a detailed report follows. Overall there is not a lot of good news but there has been no significant decline in the market. I will address specifics in future posts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Video! No. Virginia Real Estate Market!

Click on the video below to see the latest report on the Northern Virginia Real Estate Market! If you would like a report on another local area, leave a comment and I will post it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Loudoun County sales continue slide!

If we do not have an increase in the NUMBER of homes that sell we will not see an increase in sales prices! We are currently trapped in a circle in which the owners of homes are waiting to sell their homes until prices begin to rise. This makes sense if the market were normal, however in our current market this means that the number of distressed sales is dictating the value in your market! Your home could decrease in value if the homes that sell in your immediate neighborhood do not reflect an increasing value! If you need to sell in the next few years, but are waiting for improved prices, now is probably your best time to sell.

The below chart shows clearly that we are selling less homes than at any time in the last 5 years, and the market is slowing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Real Estate Dreamin'!

I think we have all, at one time or another, sat back and dreamed about a vacation home in an exotic location, or maybe just about  getting away from it all and moving to the South Seas! Well now you can bring that dream a little closer to reality! For the first time in real estate history there is one place you can go to view properties all over the world. So I invite you to sit back and take a little cruise to exotic markets the world over. Click here to enter the world of RE/MAX Global and your dreams will be a little closer to reality.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Should you buy a house now that is the question?

In my opinion if you are a young person, say 50 or under, now is a great time to buy a house!

Let's start with the negatives.

·         Housing prices are going down.
·         I'm afraid they might go down further.
·         The news for the last five years has been negative.
·         If the price goes down I might lose my money.

Let's look at reality!

·         Housing prices are going down. Housing prices have traditionally increased at a fairly significant pace higher than inflation. That is when you consider people that have bought at the peak as well as in the valleys. We are currently in or near the pricing bottom and although there may be a slight decrease in value from this time going forward, in reality the price of homes will begin to go up. What happens when they go up? Because of a strange animal called leverage, the price increase in housing is magnified to the homeowner. What does this mean? It is very simple, if you put 10% down on the price of a home and your home increases by 1% in the next year the increase on your investment, which remember is 10%, is actually a 10% increase. Should the increase be 5% you will actually have had a 50% increase in your investment!

·         I'm afraid they might go down farther. In some markets this may be true, however in our market there is very little chance this will happen. We are the capital of the United States! If you look at capital cities around the world we are grossly underpriced! As our population increases our need for government also increases. If there is one housing market in the United States that is secure is ours!

·         The news for the last five years has been negative. If you would like to wait and purchase when the prices are at their peak then this is not your time to buy. If you would like to take advantage of a down market you'll never see a better one!

·         If the price goes down I might lose my money. NO RISK - NO GAIN - NO PAIN! The reality of today's real estate market in the Washington area and especially in Loudoun County has very little downside. Every economic choice you make involves a risk and this market has very little of that.

Congratulations on your next purchase! 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sales continue to decline in Loudoun!

The chart below shows the number of sales each month comparing the past 12 months to the year earlier. We are continuing to see less activity in the local market.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Watch! the latest NoVa Real Estate video update!

Just click the play button below and watch the latest video update of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market provided by RBINTEL!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Aug. Real Estate snapshot - Loudoun!

The chart below represents real estate contracts for the last five years in Loudoun County, Virginia. The number to really be concerned with are closed sales and we have improved in 2011 versus 2010. The real story lies in the continuing slide in the number of closed sales, contracts and contingent contracts. If you compare 2011 to 2007 it is very obvious to see that the number of sales has continued to decline over this period of time. The one bright spot appears to be the number of contingent contracts, however this category includes many short – sales and in many cases these never settle.

The outlook for the future does not appear to be improving in the short run, however the really good news is that the prices seem to have stabilized and in some areas are actually increasing. I would expect that the market will improve over the next few years, but we still have a way to go before we can put this behind us.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Check this new Redskin QB on the sidelines!

With this arm who needs Rex!  Click here!

August Wash. area Real Estate report!

August 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales IndexTM: Washington, D.C. Metro Area –
Summer Season Ends With Most Active August in Four Years

Pending Sales Activity During Month Showed Seasonal Trends

Rockville, MD (September 12, 2011) – The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by housing market expert Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, based on the August 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales IndexTM released today:
The summer home sales season in the Washington, D.C. metro area market finished with the highest number of signed contracts for August in four years.   There were 4,169 contracts signed in August 2011, 8.6% less than the 4,563 contracts signed in July, but consistent with seasonal trends.  New pending sales were 19.9% above the August 2010 level but that increase is exaggerated due to the dearth of activity in the months following the expiration of the federal homebuyers tax credit in April 2010.   The median sales price for August 2011 showed a similar seasonal pattern, declining 3.8% to $356,000 from $370,000 in July 2011 but was essentially unchanged from August 2011.


  • August contracts reflected long term seasonal trends.  There were 4,169 contracts signed in August 2011, 8.6% less than the 4,563 contracts signed in July, consistent with the 5-year 9% average month-over-month decline and the ten year 7.5% average month-over-month decline.  The monthly total was the highest number of August signed contracts in 4 years.  New pending sales were 19.9% above the August 2010 level but that increase is exaggerated due to the dearth of activity in the months following the expiration of the federal homebuyers tax credit in April 2010.

  • Median sales price slipped from prior month, consistent with seasonal patterns.  The median sales price for August 2011 was consistent with seasonal long-term trends, declining 3.8% to $356,000 from $370,000 in July 2011 but was essentially unchanged from August 2011.  Median sales price has averaged a 3.6% month-over-month decline over 5 years and a 2.2% month-over-month decline over ten years.

  • Active inventory remained just above ten year average.  There were 14,325 active listings at the end of August 2011, 4.8% above the 13,667 monthly average of the past decade. However, consumers were faced with lower inventory to choose from than the same period a year ago.  Active listings fell 11.7% below last year’s levels and fell 4.2% from the July 2011 total of 14,946. There were 9.7% fewer listings added to the market in August 2011 than in July 2011.

  • The seasonal decline in demand was matched by the decline in supply.  The absorption rate was 3.4 months in August 2011, essentially unchanged from 3.3 months in July 2011 but was faster than the 4.7 month absorption rate in August 2010.  The number of months to sell all active inventory at the current pace of new contract signings is a measure of market efficiency.

  • Time to market a property faster than 5-year average   The average days on market was 70 in August 2011, edging up from 68 days in July 2011 and 62 days from August 2010.  However, the 2.9% month-over-month increase was roughly one third the 9.2% average July to August increase over the past decade.  The average discount from original list price was 6% in August 2011, edging higher than 5.8% in the same month last year but below the 7% average in August 2009.

The RBI Pending Home Sales IndexTM is a two-year moving window on the housing market using new pending sales (signed contracts) and median sales price (closed sales). It provides unique insight into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales for each month through the most recent month. The results include new pending sales through and including August 2011.  The market area includes: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Case Shiller - National Home Prices up 3.6% in 2nd Quarter!

The Case Shiller Indices (click link for full report) indicates that home prices rose by 3.6% Nationally in the 2nd Quarter of 2011! In the Washington area the increase was 2.3% over the 1st Quarter report. This is good news, however in the year over year comparison our prices declined by -1.2%.

For the full report click the link above.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Home Sales at 5 Month Low, Backlog Easing

The sales of new single-family houses fell slightly in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued the estimated figure on Tuesday and at the same time revised the June new-home sale rate down to 300,000 from the earlier estimate of 312,000. The July figure is a decrease of 0.7 percent from the new June number but is 6.8 percent above the July 2010 estimate of 279,000 new homes sold.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fake a divorce to buy a house?

The following article appeared in the Toronto Star! If you think we had a "BUBBLE" what is this!

Toronto’s real estate bidding wars may make acquiring a home tough. But it’s much worse in China.

There, some couples have to fake their own divorces so they can get third mortgages and bank loans to buy properties. And others are actually getting real divorces worried that a fraudulent divorce might come back to haunt them.
In other cases, real estate agents are helping couples with forged marriage licenses and documents to prove local residency and allow buyers to purchase more properties.
The strategies are all designed to thwart the Chinese government’s efforts to prevent a price bubble in the housing market. In recent months the government has taken dramatic steps to curb an ever escalating housing market, including limiting the number of properties a family can own.
Owning residential property is a relatively new phenomenon in China with the acquisition of residential property beginning only 13 years ago.
Since then house fever has gripped the nation, coinciding with surging incomes. And it’s not likely to stop since China’s five-year plan allows for an increase in incomes by an annual average of more than seven per cent.
With more money in their pockets everyone wants to invest in property. Housing sales have surged 25 per cent in the first seven months from a year earlier and prices have climbed in 67 out of 70 cities monitored by the Chinese government.

Follow link for full article

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Visit the Rock Creek "Tree House"

Just like on TV! Take a look at this really unique home in Rock Creek Park. It can be a lot of fun to view some of the unique homes in our area, I hope you like this is much as I did.

Click below to view this unusual home:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's a dog's life! Just got a lot better in Northern Virginia!!

On July 11, 2011, Realty Alliance Incorporated presented a check for $3656.24 to Northern Virginia Sheltie Rescue. It was one of the largest donations Sheltie Rescue has ever received. Pictured above, left to right are Dave & Donna Martin (Donors), Barbara "Barb" Gardiner (NVSR), Caryn Humphrey (REMAX Select Prop.) and Tiffany Hine of RAI.

Realty Alliance Incorporated is a real estate referral company with a different idea. Imagine a real estate company that is dedicated to serving our communities through the funding of local charities. RAI is that company, and it lives up to its slogan laying the foundation for a better tomorrow. If you are buying or selling a home and would like to see a portion of your commission donated to your favorite charity, RAI can be reached at, or simply call 703 – 547 – 1514.

Realty Alliance Incorporated                        

Monday, August 15, 2011

No. Va. Real Estate statistics for July

The Real Estate market showed slight improvement in July  compared to July 2010. The Numbers are below.

Breast-Cancer Awareness Benefit & Silent Auction!

RE/MAX Select Properties will host a breast-cancer awareness benefit and silent auction on August 18 at the Broadlands Sports Bar & Grill, 42882 Turo Parrish Dr. #105, Ashburn Va. The event will be from 4 PM until 10 PM with the auction ending at 7:30 PM. There will be a five dollar cover charge and all proceeds will benefit  "Swing for the Cure".

Please come out and join the fun! There will be over 40 items in the auction including something for everyone.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Battlefield Parkway opens in Leesburg!!

Good by traffic! The long awaited Battlefield Parkway section between Fort Evans and Edwards Ferry Roads will occur this weekend!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Is Northern Virginia real estate the safe haven?

With today's financial turmoil, everyone is looking for a safe haven. In my opinion it is right under our nose. We have already undergone the collapse of the over-inflated housing market across the country and especially in Northern Virginia! There is every reason to believe that our prices are at their bottom and that we will see a gradual increase for the foreseeable future. Given the turmoil in the financial markets, the uncertainty of most investments and the gridlock on Capitol Hill, real estate looks pretty good! If the government does downsize, as it has done in the past, the effect on our local market has usually been nothing worse than flat.

We are in the right place at the right time!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Friday evening S&P downgraded US rating from"AAA" to "AA" for the first time in history! Click HERE for the full S&P statement!

Financial Turmoil and Your Home!

The recent news of financial turmoil and reduction in government spending has many people on edge in this area. It is just natural that our concerns spillover into the housing market. What can we expect to happen to our home prices when we consider these potential disasters? The national housing market and our local housing market as always are not the same. Real estate markets are subject to local conditions, Location Location Location, has never been more true. Let us look at how these two events affect your home value.

The first event I will consider is the financial turmoil that is underway in the stock market. It is natural as stock markets face decline, people experience a certain level of fear for their financial condition. This will cause people to stop and think longer and harder before they make major financial decisions, and buying a home is a major financial decision. This will cause a slowing in the real estate market. It is important when making housing decisions that you evaluate all of the conditions affecting your local market. Making a panic decision to buy or sell is never in your best interest! Although this financial turmoil may have a major impact on your 401(k) program, in this area it will have a minimal impact on the value of your home. The last time the stock market began to panic, it had a major impact on our home prices, and most of that panic in the stock market was created by instability in the mortgage market, which directly affected housing. The financial conditions that are effecting today's markets are completely different. This unrest is being driven by unemployment, government cutbacks, international turmoil and basic instability in the financial sector. Our local housing market should remain stable as we are insulated from most of these problem areas.

What about government spending? To see how that affects our area we have to look at what has occurred in the past, and what naturally occurs in bureaucracies when they downsize. In general, our area consists of managers in both the federal sector and the government contractors, which surround the Beltway. The majority of the unemployment that will come naturally because of this downsizing will occur in the outlying areas not in the Washington area. This is been proven over and over again whenever we entered one of these reductions in force as they are commonly referred to. We will experience a slowdown caused by our indecision and fear, however  the long-term outlook for the Washington area and Northern Virginia in particular remain positive. We should not see any appreciable reductions in our housing prices in the near future, and will see a gradual rise over the next few years.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The latest on the "Shadow Inventory"

This information was provided by CoreLogic and shows the extent of the shadow inventory. The blue shows the pending REO inventory, the brown is the foreclosure inventory, and the purple is the pending Serious Delinquency Inventory. The bad news is that we have such a large distressed inventory and the good news is that we have actually had a 20% reduction in the shadow inventory. We are digging our way out of the hole but there is still a long way to go.

In a future post I will show which states are most affected by the shadow and inventory.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prices on the Rise!

Things just keep looking up! My last chart showed the increase in the number of units sold. This chart shows the increase in the median sale price, and it is a mirror image of the units sold. For a long time this was an unreliable indicator. Because of the limitations on financing most of our sales were concentrated in the lower price ranges and when the financing loosened it appeared that the average price range was increasing when in fact we were selling more expensive homes. We have been able to get financing in all price ranges over the last year. Now the average and median sale price are beginning to have some relation to reality and once again be used as a general gauge to the health of the market.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Case-Shiller indices

The latest (July) Case-Shiller report was released today. It can be accessed HERE.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Loudoun & Fairfax County units sold!

The market takes a turn!

The most important indicator of the health of a real estate market is the number of sold transactions. In the Northern Virginia market the sold volume has been declining since the sub-prime market imploded. The chart above indicates a radical departure from that pattern in June for both Loudoun and Fairfax Counties! IF THIS CONTINUES WE HAVE PROBABLY SEEN THE MARKET BOTTOM!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Welcome to the new blog of the Stakem Report! I am changing from the print format, to the blog format, to provide more timely information on a regular basis. Initially we will be covering Loudoun County and Western Fairfax County, eventually expanding into the entire Northern Virginia market. I hope you enjoy this new format and look forward to providing you with information.