The Housing Market is a Win for Buyers and Sellers

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Key Takeaways:

  • Ignore the negative news—the market is coming back down to earth
  • Homeowners have record equity, and buyers have more inventory
  • This is a great time to make a move in the market, so contact us today!

You might hear a lot of doom and gloom news about the housing market lately, but let’s put it in perspective. The COVID-19 global pandemic caused unprecedented disruptions to financial markets, including housing. Now, with everyone ready to move forward, the historic hot housing market is returning to normal. Let’s look at what that means for buyers and sellers. 

The current housing market and forecast 

Dreaming of new home

Our last blog post looked at mortgage rates in their historical context. While today’s rates range between 5-6% and are certainly higher than homebuyers’ rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re nothing extraordinary. Today’s rates are still far below the all-time high of 18.45% set back in the 1980s! 

A recent report by Fannie Mae forecasts that over the next 12 months, US consumers anticipate home prices to fall for the first time in two years. With potential buyers expecting further price declines and sellers not keen on giving up their lower, fixed mortgage rate, now is the time to buy or sell your home.

However, for first-time homebuyers seeking to make a move, news of continued cooling of home prices is welcome, which will keep demand high. While current homeowners considering selling may be concerned that they missed the window to realize their equity gains or will lose out on their current lower mortgage rate, it’s important to remember the larger historical trends regarding real estate investments. And, if you’re purchasing another home, you have more homes to choose from.

What home sellers need to know right now

Real estate agent handing over keys of new home to young couple. Happy new property owners with estate broker.

Don’t listen to the news cycle pedaling doom and gloom about your equity gains and home value. Buying or selling property is always a good investment. The real estate market always presents opportunities, and home prices are simply moderating from historic highs. 

Moreover, homeownership is a long-term asset that pays out over time, and the record equity gains of the past few years that current homeowners have enjoyed aren’t likely to ever happen again. So, while home prices are cooling off, the decline is less than 1%, leaving those equity gains intact when you decide it’s time to sell.

What home buyers need to know right now

Happy couple sold home sign.

CoStar Group, an online real estate analytics provider, recently reported negative growth in asking rental prices for the first time in 20 months, falling 0.1%. While this is undoubtedly welcome news for renters and would-be homeowners battling skyrocketing rental prices, the cost of rent remains a high hurdle for many to clear every month. 

For potential homebuyers wondering if now is the time to stop paying rent and move toward homeownership, it’s worth remembering that owning a home will always be a better long-term investment of your money than renting. 

So, despite a new Fannie May survey declaring that around half of today’s consumers hold a negative view of the market and think it would be difficult to get a mortgage today, this is overly pessimistic. Moreover, there are numerous loan options for qualifying buyers, such as first-time buyers and veteran programs. 

Getting a mortgage is one of the most significant financial moves a person will ever make, and preparation is critical. So before you apply, spend some time ensuring that your credit and finances are in order. Because when you find your perfect home, you’ll want to be able to make an offer immediately.

Take the Next Step

If you’re ready to make a move, don’t get caught up in the frenzy of negative news. Instead, work with your local team that knows the micro-housing market in your area. Our real estate agents have decades of experience and understand how to help you navigate the market. Contact us today to figure out your best options for buying and selling your home!

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Why Now Is the Right Time to Buy Your Dream Home

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Key Takeaways:

  • Mortgage rates are going up, but they’re actually not that high. 
  • You’re still in control: you can get yourself a lower rate with these smart tips.
  • Find opportunities in your local real estate market—contact us today!

Many would-be homebuyers are fearful of rising mortgage rates. It seems like the news is non-stop negative when it comes to talking about the housing market. But it’s worth putting those headlines into perspective. In 1981, mortgage rates hit an all-time high of 18.45%! On a 30-year fixed mortgage right now, you can expect to find rates around 5.9%—that’s 68% less than the highest mortgage rates homeowners have historically managed. Let’s take a look at today’s mortgage rates and see why this is still the time to buy. 

Why are mortgage rates increasing right now?

Sitting smiling happy meeting with real state agent signing mortgage loan at bank.

The COVID-19 pandemic had unexpected financial consequences across the entire world. One of those was a real estate boom in the United States, spurred by record-low mortgage rates. 

In December 2020, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was an astonishing 2.68%. And guess what? These were the lowest mortgage rates in history. The whole year of 2020 saw the lowest annual average rate in history at 3.11%.

That historical high of 18.45%? That was caused by record inflation during the OPEC embargo. And, the Federal Reserve is working hard to curb inflation right now to avoid things like double-digit mortgage rates returning. 

So, while plenty of lucky homeowners were able to purchase new homes or refinance their existing ones at around a 3% mortgage rate in 2020, it was extremely unlikely that those rates would ever become the norm—because they have never been. It was only due to the COVID-19 pandemic that rates were temporarily at their lowest of all time. 

Can I still buy a home with 5% mortgage rates?

Cheerful couple with keys to their new home.

Of course you can still buy a home! Before COVID-19 ushered in a few years of unprecedented global economics, in January 2019 the average mortgage rate was around 4.5% and around two-thirds of Americans still owned and occupied their homes. 

Mortgage rates have seen spikes and dips and national and international events influence financial markets. But for more good news, let’s consider that the average mortgage rates have actually declined every decade since the 1970s, and the amount of homeowners has steadily increased as well. 

With rates around 5% right now and more economic uncertainty on the horizon, this is still a great time to buy a home. You can lock in a rate that’s actually on the lower end, and be able to refinance when the time comes that they fall below 5% again. Or, you’ll be in a perfect position to sell your home at that time and realize your equity gains. 

How you can secure a lower mortgage rate

Family teaching their daughter to save money.

There are still steps you can take to lower your rate, independent of the Federal Reserve. Even though the Federal Reserve is responsible for setting interest rates, mortgage rates are only influenced by the Federal Reserve, and there are more factors you can control. 

First and foremost, make sure you pay attention to improving your credit score. It’s always important to have a decent credit score when applying for loans, but even more so when you can save yourself money every month on your mortgage.

Next, pay down or off any debt and try to increase your income if you can. A higher annual income helps with mortgage rates, but may also give you some extra spending to pay down debt before applying for a home loan. 

And finally, shop around for different lenders, and consider different types of mortgages. There isn’t just one lender in town, and there are more options than the conventional 30-year fixed mortgage. A combination of the right lender and the right mortgage for your financial situation can make a big difference in your final monthly payment.

Let’s Buy Your Dream Home

There are still plenty of wonderful homes for sale in all types of price ranges in different neighborhoods. That’s why it’s important to contact your local real estate team. Don’t worry so much about the headline news—focus on what’s happening in your backyard, and what kind of home you can buy right now. Contact us today to get started!

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