Category Archives: Market Conditions

Competitive Markets and Multiple Offers are on the Rise!

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Have you heard about, or better yet, been faced with stiff competition in certain housing markets around Richmond, VA that are leading to multiple bid situations? Some areas seem to barely receive a notice, while others are overcome with such frenzied activity that it is leading to numerous offers and extremely competitive contracts that go well above asking price. Certain locations are so thin with little or no inventory that when a property hits the market, buyers begin to line up, quite literally, in the street.


Buyer-anxiety and the pace of movement around these homes is so extreme that it seems reminiscent of housing boom conditions from just a few short years ago. It’s almost impossible to believe situations like this can exist today – with one exception – it is not across the board in all locations! In most instances low inventory is leading to very strong home sales, but the price of these homes is not skyrocketing. In fact, price increases have been, on average, quite modest. Yet there are pockets which appear to be progressively heated.


In all instances, sellers need to be prepared for these conditions by remaining realistic about sales prices; keep a calm head and price your home compellingly. Perceived value is the key to generating interest. The market is working in your favor, let purchasers pursue the price. Preparation also remains important. Don’t underestimate the need to have the property looking its best in order to attract more traffic.


Purchasers need to be prepared to act quickly. They should have their finances squared away with a reputable lender. If they have more cash to put as a down payment they will be perceived as a more desirable prospect. Cash is still King! Minimize your contingencies in order to be more appealing, but be intelligent about choosing what to do or what to omit from an offer.  Put your best foot forward immediately in order to be a front-runner and to generate a response. You will also want to be available to your Realtor in order to respond quickly to anything that may arise.


To increase your chances of success, choose an experienced REALTOR to be your advocate. Call on us if we can help you!


Will it be a Buyer’s or a Seller’s Market in 2015?

 Dice buy sell


    A serious look into an ever-changing Real Estate Market, like the one projected for 2015, indicates we should be up for anything. Ann and I are reading trends and forecasts which suggest market conditions slightly favoring sellers in the coming months. Low inventory with an increase in consumer activity (once the weather clears) will support modest price increases and the likelihood of more competitive bid situations.


The housing marketplace is a non-linear force that is not subject to the laws of gravity. Described as less volatile and easier to understand than the stock market, housing is equally as unpredictable and more subject to the emotional whims of a consumer. The buyer vs. seller advantage may not be as it appears from one month to the next; real estate is locally driven, so it is area specific, and will also cycle according to price points.


For instance, conditions changed several times during the course of 2014; as the market improved buyers and sellers were anticipating home sales to favor sellers. There were subtle changes in the fall market that evolved to favor purchasers late in the year. This seems to have happened in spite of generally low inventory in the resale market. Conservative purchasers were taking their time when considering what to buy, without any perceived pressure to purchase quickly, and did not turned out in as high numbers as hope in order to favor sellers.


Although modest in terms of value increases, the total volume of projected home sales is very positive for 2015.  While it is still early in the year, a noticeable uptick in activity is present in the marketplace. So hang on, things could start moving at a rapid pace very soon – we are on the cusp of the spring market, when not only the temperatures heat up – improved consumer confidence, pent-up demand, low mortgage interest rates, and new homes coming on the market are a good recipe for activity.


Contact your trusted real estate advisor for the most accurate evaluation of Real Estate and housing trends available in the marketplace today. We are happy to assist you too!


Ann & John VanderSyde
Ann & John VanderSyde

This Blog will be featured in RTD “Ask the Expert” Article on Sunday 3/1/2015

How Do I Know What’s Happening In The Real Estate Marketplace?

We can feel it, we can see it, and by tracking recent office numbers Realtors® can anticipate that while home sales have been moving slightly slower during the last couple of months, things were already beginning to swing back, upward in September. Office sales activity is the first indicator for what the marketplace is doing, weather slowing or quickening. We know because we watch the “board”. While statistics supporting this perceived upward trend will not be available for a few more weeks, toward the end of October for September stats, the real estate market is currently performing as has been predicted by such notable economist as Laurence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors.

Real estate has been strong this year, but it may feel a little flat compared to the obvious recovery we experienced last year. Nevertheless, interest rates remain low, and statistics reported by the NAR confirm the market remains positive. The NAR states “the national median existing-home price is projected to grow between 5 and 6 percent this year and 4 and 5 percent next year.” This is all really good news in what is considered to be a stable housing market, and Realtors® know it!

Everyone knows the stability of the housing market is a key ingredient to consumer confidence and an improving work force. But as they say on TV, “yea, well, did you know that . . . ” a stable housing market does not lend itself toward a buyer or seller market? In other words, purchasers are still rather picky about the homes they select, and don’t appear to be in a terrible rush to make a decision about buying a home; conversely, sellers have the pleasure of enjoying modest inventory selections which boosts demand, but prices must still be compelling for a quick sale, and condition of the property needs to be such that most purchasers don’t feel they are taking on a renovation project. Why?

One of the benefits of a good, stable housing market is it lends itself to a feeling of equilibrium of forces, where neither one side nor the other feels they have the upper hand and are being taken advantage of during the transaction. Buying and selling a home is a lot of hard work, both emotionally and physically; nobody wants to feel trampled or defeated during the process. Guidance and understanding during the process is why vast majority of people choose to work with real estate professionals. That’s why, aside from being experts in their field, Realtors® make the time to know the market, understand the needs of the consumer, and have a pulse on market activity that they can sense the ups and downs taking place before the numbers can be calculated – all of this for the benefit of you, the housing consumer.

John VanderSyde is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and a Licensed Architect; he and his wife Ann are the top producing team at Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company in Richmond, VA.

Fewer Unemployment Claims Filed – For The Week Ending May 3rd

  • Fewer workers claimed unemployment insurance in the week ending May 3, an early indicator that the job market continues to improve surely even if slowly. Initial claims for unemployment insurance[1] were at 319,000, fewer by 26,000 from the previous week’s level.


  • Claims are now down to their normal levels. If this trend continues, NAR forecasts about 2 to 2.5 million net new job creations this year and the next year.
  • For the week ending April 26, the largest decrease in claims were in Michigan (-6,642), New Jersey (-2,269), Pennsylvania (-1,704), Maryland (-1,670), and California (-1,237).  The largest increases in claims New York (+23,523), Massachusetts (+3,983), Rhode Island (+1,080), Oregon (+959), and Delaware (+956).


  • Still, what matters to housing is the number of people with jobs as depicted in the graph above. Although the unemployment rate has been dropping with the April rate at 6.3 percent, the share of the population that is employed has barely nudged at 58 percent from its peak of about 63 percent. In a testimony before Congress yesterday, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Janet Yellen reported that labor market conditions are “far from satisfactory” and that “housing may be stalling and bears watching.”  Existing home sales are hovering at about 4.6 million in 2014, down from last year’s average of about 5 million.


Information provide from the National Association of Realtors.

REALTORS® Expect Modest Price Growth in Next 12 Months

REALTORS® Expect Modest Price Growth in Next 12 Months Based on March 2014 REALTOR® Survey

REALTORS® generally expect prices to increase over the next 12 months at a modest pace with a median expected price increase at about 4 percent, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index. Low inventory compared to demand is expected to continue to buttress prices, as well as the declining share of distressed sales in the market.

The states with the most upbeat expected price increases of 5 to 7 percent are California, Oregon, Nevada, Georgia, Florida, and Hawaii (red). In states with booming economies like Washington, North Dakota, Texas, Michigan, the DC-Metro Area, and NY, the expected price increase is about 3 to 5 percent (orange). In the rest of the states, the expected price growth is less than 3 percent (blue)

For the Full Article go to:


News Paper - RealEstateResearch released from the Virginia Association of Realtors (VAR) showed 95 percent of consumers who bought a home started their search for the property on-line (Statistics from the NAR are slightly higher) . Catching those buyers attention requires your listing have the right price, the right selling tools, and a plan for getting the product to market.

The best information and results comes from those Realtors who are experienced, knowledgeable and reliable. Ann & John VanderSyde have what consumers need to buy and sell the best homes throughout the Richmond Metropolitan Areas.

Please Review information at and contact Ann or John to find out what is happening in your area now.


Ann & John are the top producing Team at Virginia Properties/Long & Foster since 2009, and are both Associate Brokers – 18 combined years of Team experience!

Where are all the homes – what’s up with Inventory?

We have a number of people asking about housing inventory, wondering why we are not seeing more homes in the real estate market for sale. Reports and statistics confirm an improving housing market, although it may be “slow and steady” as reported two weeks ago by Carol Hazard in the Richmond Times Dispatch. So shouldn’t we be seeing more houses for sale?

We are on the cusp of our spring market here in Richmond, and therefore anticipate seeing more and more homes trickling into the marketplace. However, it may not be what we are used to when we contemplate a healthy marketplace. We have to keep in mind that as the economy continues to evolve the marketplace also shifts. People are often slow to respond to change, and there is still perceived uncertainty in the minds of some consumers as to how these improving conditions will impact home sales. Well don’t think about it too long. Homes are selling more quickly today, and inventory is not keeping up with demand.

Realtors are seeing homes showing up “For Sale” and then “pending” under contract rather quickly every day. And for good reason – there is pent-up buying demand fueled by low interest rates which makes this a great time to buy and sell homes. We can all see that low mortgage rates combined with low inventory is a win-win situation for buyers and sellers. Under these conditions, sellers know that homes priced well that are in good condition sell quickly and at a higher price. Buyers understand the value of borrowing with low interest because it allows them to purchase more home for their money, and enjoy a greater return on their purchase over the life of the loan.

While “slow and steady” may be the rallying cry of the day, to hesitate may mean not getting what you want. Although inventory may be low, so are the rates available for borrowing the money to purchase these homes. There is no question that this is a great time to buy and sell real estate. Speak to your real estate professional today and find out how these conditions will work to your advantage.

Ann & John VanderSyde are Associate Brokers at Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company. They have been Sales Team of the Year since 2009. Call (804) 287-4660 and visit

Is a Realtor’s Guidance Reliable in a changing Real Estate Market?

One of the most difficult times for buyers and sellers to make informed decisions on pricing, or making or responding to offers, is during perceived variations in the Real Estate market. It is relatively easy for Realtors to guide buyers and sellers when there is consistency in the marketplace. It’s a bit more of a challenge to gauge changing trends when things are in flux. As in all aspects of life, there is often a sense of uncertainty when things are moving away from what had been the norm, as seems to be true today.

The answer is “Yes”; rely on your Realtor during these ever-changing times. Statistics confirm that sales are on the rise, and despite the knowledge that these changes are being compared to the “down market” of last year, these numbers will most assuredly continue to rise. These statistics support the rally-cry of economist who are carefully monitoring the new horizon of future housing improvements. Your Realtor is the one closest to the daily action, and can respond most knowledgably to your questions and housing needs.

The latest numbers also convey to buyers that it remains a good time to purchase a home. All reports predict, if not confirm, that interest rates will remain low, making it extremely affordable to borrow money. And even though inventory is relatively low, it remains, at least for the moment, a “buyer’s market”. As for Sellers, well they are currently offering housing products at realistic prices. In many cases homes are presented in move-in ready condition, and often with numerous upgrades. Furthermore, the terms and conditions negotiated through the aid of a Realtor ensure that both parties will reach their common goal of buying and selling a home.

There is little doubt that we are going to continue to see positive trends of change in the housing market. By all accounts, when moving forward, we will enjoy a very different real estate experience than we have come to expect during the last several years. While change is not easy to grasp, the best source for reliable housing information continues to be from the Realtors who are in the market every day. Realtors have their fingers on the pulse of buying and selling homes, even when it happens to be an irregular pulse.

Ann & John VanderSyde – Virginia Properties “Sales Team of the Year” (804) 287-4660

Foot Traffic Relates to Home Sales

Richmond Real Estate Foot-traffic in August Can Be a Test in Patience

Typically August is one of the slowest months of the year for real estate activity, followed closely by December.  Vacations and back to school activities obviously rival the December holidays. As a result, less foot traffic means less activity.

Understanding that we know the people who are out looking for homes is going to be fewer in August, you would think we would be prepared for the resulting activity. This lack of activity is reflected in the number of people actually out searching for homes this time of year. We would like to believe that those folks out searching for homes are very serious about purchasing one. Unfortunately it doesn’t always translate into website hits or open house traffic or home sales. Therefore, patience is the key.

According to SentriLock, LLC, Foot traffic and future home sales have a strong correlation. NAR research with monthly data on the number of showings supports this notion. Just try relating such figures to the sellers whose listings you have on the market and see how supportive your clients suddenly become. Nevertheless, it is a fact.

Foot traffic from this year to last year in August will likely be the same for our area of Richmond, VA. The Richmond Association of Realtors will support this idea once their figures come out in September. Although foot traffic will be slow, the sales activity will likely be up slightly this year. The market slump is behind us and mortgage rates remain low. There are still deals to be made and it remains a buyer’s market – for now.

So keep being patient, the fall market in Richmond is almost upon us, and foot traffic will be on the increase. Low mortgage rates and tightening inventories are drawing more potential buyers into the market as confidence in price stability and stable employment grows. Keep your hat on; real estate and new-homes construction are going to experience significant change in the coming year. Tell that to your clients!


John VanderSyde is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and a Licensed Architect. He has been in construction, development and building since 1986, and a Realtor since 2002. He and his wife Ann are team partners at Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company in Richmond, VA.

Spring and the Marketplace – What’s Different this Year?

   I’m looking at the Weekend Section of the newspaper. There is a lot of information about the latest market conditions, news beyond the bust, and interests in the “home” trending upward.  There is a resurgence of advertisement, upbeat statistics, and the pleasing optimism that aligns itself with improving real estate conditions. It is the blush of spring, where new homes for sale honestly reflects the time of year when fresh and new is sincere and hopeful. It is distinctly different than what we have been experiencing over the last several years, and it is notable.

None of this can happen without the eager participation of buyers and sellers! Open house dates are spinning with activity, full of sincere purchasers looking at the “home” as something more than just an investment. They are remembering that homeownership is about choosing a lifestyle, as well as a standard of living, that suits one’s particular needs. It is the notion that “location, price and condition” are more than simply buzz-words and market hype, and that people really want to live where it matters most to them.

The relevance of investors doesn’t adequately describe the true nature of their contribution to the marketplace. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that 27 percent of all real estate transactions in 2011 were for the purchase of an investment property, and that 11 percent of all real estate transactions last year were second home purchases. A significant portion of these transactions were paid for with cash, which further supports the idea that many buyers are investing in a lifestyle, and not just their bottom line.

There is no doubt a science to real estate, but it doesn’t overshadow the complementary feelings and emotions that go into buying and selling homes. People know this, and it is eminently apparent that we are currently enjoying a little more of the latter during this rather delightful time of year. This is of course the notable difference from recent past years in real estate. Let’s choose to keep looking forward; because after all that’s where the future is – for all of us!

John VanderSyde is an Associate Broker, REALTOR with Virginia Properties in Richmond, VA (804) 282-7300