The Alexandria Real Estate Outlook for 2021
The real estate market in Alexandria, Virginia, mirrors many of the nation’s buying, renting, and selling trends in 2021 and contends with the demands stemming from major corporate expansion from companies like Amazon and Microsoft. Despite low interest rates, a severe shortage of homes for sale, and Covid-19 fears and restrictions, real estate transactions roar on in Alexandria.
Alexandria Home Buyers
As a whole, home buyers searching in Alexandria will struggle in 2021. Competition is fierce, inventory is tight, and there’s enough wealth in the Northern Virginia area that cash buyers are regularly offering well over the asking price. If your offer remains competitive, it’s because you’ve signaled your comfort with contingency waivers and bidding wars, which are now the norm.
There is a bright spot for home buyers if they consider the possibility of buying a condo. The pandemic accelerated the desire for larger homes to accommodate a work/exercise/play-at-home lifestyle. Condo owners have relinquished their property faster than any other living style in Alexandria. There was a 211% increase in condo listings from December 2019 compared to December 2020.
Homebuyers on the hunt should be completely prepared to present an offer when an acceptable property becomes available. Here are a few ways to put yourself in contention.
- Only work with an agent who is experienced in the Alexandria market. A respected agent will network with colleagues, including other agents and local lenders, to find your best opportunities. They’ll have the knowledge to help you avoid emotional blunders and walk away if the deal isn’t beneficial.
- In this type of sellers market, your financing must be ready to go in a day if necessary. An on-the-spot mortgage pre-approval and quick access to cash for down payments and other fees are essential. Offer the owners the easiest path for selling their property for the best chance of securing the house you’ve chosen.
- Your “must-have” list must be solid. This market’s pace does not favor those who don’t know where to compromise and exactly when to hold steady. Other buyers will take advantage of your period of consideration and propose their offers. Find the numbers you’re comfortable with, the contingencies you’re fine with waiving, and the time frame you’re willing to work with. Some sellers are more likely to work with buyers who have the same timeline in mind.
If you’re considering searching for a home in Arlington, Alexandria’s neighbor, here’s what you need to know: Where Should You Live: Alexandria or Arlington?
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Alexandria Home Sellers
Active sellers can expect another prosperous year in Alexandria. There won’t be many barriers to achieving your asking price. The amount of buyers simply outnumbers the inventory of Alexandria homes available.
Derrick Swaak, president of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, predicts that steady conditions in the stock market and historically low mortgage rates will continue to drive buyers’ demand even if interest rates tick up slightly later in the year.
At this point, the question for homeowners is whether or not to take advantage of this opportunity to cash in on their home’s value. If you are at all considering selling your home in the next year, it’s a wise decision to work with a real estate agent to see how your property stacks up with comparables and the potential for earnings.
You’re in a tough spot if you’re looking for rental homes in Alexandria, especially single family houses (you might have better luck renting a condo). There’s a good chance you’ve been priced out of the for sale market or have had multiple offers rejected and have turned to the possibility of renting a home. You aren’t alone; you’ll compete with other would-be-buyers who have been defeated by above asking prices, all cash offers, and ridiculously low inventory numbers.
The federal housing moratorium policy (in addition to Virginia Governor Northam’s Covid-19 housing relief policies) has been extended until June. This extension could also shrink the number of available rentals if tenants are abiding by federal, state, local laws. They’ll remain in their homes as long as possible.
Related information: What to Know About the Rental Home Market in Alexandria.
Similar to the buying process, carefully choose a well-respected and connected real estate agent to help with your search. Desirable rentals move faster than homes for sale and some never make it to public view; most move on word of mouth recommendations. Decide on your non-negotiables and ensure your credit and background checks are in pristine order. You’ll want to present yourself in the best possible light amongst the competition.
What Buyers, Renters, and Sellers Should Expect in 2021
Sellers can expect to see no shortage of interest in their property. In fact, in light of Covid-19 precautions, they’ll have many options when it comes to how they market their property. A traditional open house may not be necessary if the seller isn’t comfortable with a large amount of traffic through their home.
Buyers now will consider doing a majority of their home shopping online and letting their agents do live walk-through video showings. The opportunity to manage most of the home selling process online is now available at the convenience and comfort level of the seller’s choice. Sellers will continue to be in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the year.
Buyers and renters will face a considerable challenge to find the perfect home to buy or rent in 2021. Experienced real estate agents in Alexandria will encourage their clients not to become discouraged. They’ll help prepare you to jump in with the best resources and support. And, they’ll also remind you that although you might think you’re losing out on the perfect property, with perseverance, you’ll ultimately find the home that was meant for you.
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