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Wednesday, March 22, 2023
ArlingtonOpinionEditorial: Real-estate crystal ball suddenly gets cloudy

Editorial: Real-estate crystal ball suddenly gets cloudy

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A recent “flash poll” of members of the Virginia Realtors trade organization, covered in last week’s edition, offers a raft of at-times contradictory views on the state of the market. Not a surprise, since individuals have individual opinions and are seeing things through different lenses.

But one thing seems sure: Even if the state’s real-estate market is in no danger of an imminent collapse, there are warning signs that the gravy train for sellers has hit a rough patch, as it has so many times in the past – recessions of the early 1980s, early 1990s and late 2000s all punctured the balloon to various degrees, with significant short-term carnage if mild to nonexistent damage to those who had a more long-term outlook.

Circling back to 2022, it’s still a sellers’ market, the group believes and the data suggest, but an increasing percentage of those responding to these polls (25% now, up from 10% a month before) think home prices actually could drop in coming months. And that would be a big, big, big change from the past two years.

Definitely seems like buyers and, more particularly, sellers should get a move on if they’re ready to dip into the market. Because who knows what the end of the year might bring?


As for those around long enough to acknowledge that there’s really nothing new under the sun – the names and faces change but that’s about it – there’s an acknowledgement that what goes up must come down, at least a bit. While hopefully for the local region it will be a soft landing for the real-estate market, rather than the ugly one that occurred 15 years ago, both the public and the elected officials who serve them at the local level ought to be fastening the seat belts, just in case. Better safe than sorry.

Even if the current situation doesn’t result in a crash at the end, it’s sure to be a bumpy ride along the way.

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