Braemar Property Value Report: January-February 2023 (Carriage Series)
Spring may not be officially here, but the change of season is in the air. Trees were budding and flowers were blooming even in late February. Has the spring real estate market started? You bet it has. Since becoming a real estate agent in 2005, I can tell you that January is the month that buyers kick into action. As of right now (early March,) they are competing hard for the homes available to buy.
In this edition of the Braemar Property Value Report, the focus is on what has happened in the first two months of the year, where our six month data points are compared with our twelve month data points and what is projected in the world of Carriage homes. Braemar Carriage homes are characterized by the lack of an attached garage. When these homes have a garage, it is detached and sits in back of the home, accessed by a private driveway off of the street, or off of a shared alley in the back of the home. The floor plans, from smallest to largest, are: Maplewood, Norwood, Oakdale and Parkdale.
In January and February there were three Braemar Carriage homes that sold. This is great to see since there were no Carriage home sales in our neighborhood in November and December. Details of the sales from the first two months of the year are listed below:
All of these sales were of three upper level bedroom Carriage homes: Maplewood and Norwood floor plans. These are the two smaller of the four available Carriage homes in our neighborhood. Each sold at or above their list price. That was not the case in September and October as sellers were coming to grips with the fact that buyer behavior had changed as a result of the steep increases to mortgage interest rates. They each gave something in seller subsidy (closing cost help to buyers,) though only one gave what was probably close to all of the closing costs of that buyer at $12,800. Finally, two were under contract in a week or less, and one took about one month to find its buyer.
Taking all three of these sales and combining them with the entire past twelve months of Braemar Carriage home sales, the data points tracked in this report are updated as follows:
Starting with the sold price column it is disconcerting to see that both six month sold prices have fallen below their respective twelve month sold prices. This happened last report as well, but as there were no sales to report in November and December, it wasn’t as alarming. Being engaged full-time in our real estate market, I know first hand that values haven’t dropped as much as they are no longer accelarating wildly upward. Looking into the last six months of sales, two-thirds of them are the smaller three bedroom floor plans. The last twelve months of sales are as close as you can get to a fifty-fifty split with an odd number with three bedroom models having the one house advantage. My gut is telling me that this drop of six month sold prices below the twelve month prices is really just a reflection of smaller homes dominating the Braemar Carriage home market in the last six months.
Seller subsidy, in both six month values compared to their corresponding twelve month values, has gone up. This is not surprising. The rise of mortgage interest rates was steep and did fall back into the sixes and sevens after hitting the eights last year. Buyers have settled with this being the new normal, but it doesn’t make houses any more affordable as values really haven’t dropped noticeably. Closing cost help requests are much more common. However, as we hit mid-February, buyer behavior started to repeat what we saw in 2020 and 2021. I have personally represented a seller who received multiple offers in January, and represented buyers who competed in multiple offer situations in February. The difference a month makes is huge. Some buyers are back to waiving contingencies, offering above list and not requesting seller subsidy.
Marketing time in both six month values has increased when compared to their respective twelve month values. Again, not surprising given the buyer behavior change that came over the market in mid to late summer last year. I think we will see marketing times speed up again as buyers compete over limited inventory.
If you placed your Braemar Carriage home on the market, priced to current conditions, you could expect it to be under contract in a week or two. You should also not be shocked at seller subsidy requests. Avoiding the pay out of closing costs to buyers and getting top dollar in this seller’s market is not a secret formula. Pricing right, having properly prepared your home for market and hiring an agent that professionally markets is what drives up buyer enthusiasm. Buyers may need a home, but if they aren’t excited about yours, the time it takes to sell and terms you eventually see in offers are not going to be as seller favored as they could be.
The next Braemar Property Value Report will be out in May. Until then, if you felt remorse at having missed the sale of your home in 2020 or 2021, early 2023 presents a great opporunity. Find out what your specific home is worth in the current market. Get in touch for your complementary consultation. It is one of my greatest pleasures to help my Braemar neighbors hit the top of the market when they sell. Since 2005, No One Knows Braemar Better!
Chris Ann Cleland
Associate Broker, Licensed in VA
Long & Foster Real Estate