By Tim McLaughlin, Sr. Vice President, Weichert Financial
As mortgage rates continue to trend near all time lows, now is a better time than ever before for a prospective homebuyer to purchase any type of residential property.
Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said many “key housing metrics are holding steady through the typically slow winter season.”
Over the last 12 months ending in February 2012, there were 3.9 million homes sold, higher than the pace experienced last year.
Housing affordability, a ratio of the typical household income relative to the annual income necessary to buy a median priced home at prevailing mortgages rates, is at levels not seen since prior to the early 1990s and is almost twice the level that it was in April 2006 when housing was the least affordable it had been in two decades.
“Even under the unlikely scenario of (an uptick in) mortgage rates, affordability is only reduced to the level of May 2011,” Fleming added. “The most likely scenario is moderately higher interest rates that return housing affordability to where it was late last year, hardly a draconian impact.”
Climbing rents for apartments are combining with a moderate level in home prices to push once reluctant home buyers into finally taking the plunge, say economists and real estate agents, helping what appears to be a good start to the housing industry’s all important spring selling season.
Real estate agents say they are fielding more calls from tenants complaining about rising rents.
“The rental market has been incredibly hot,” said one Realtor on record. He states that rising rents, coupled with slumping home prices and interest rates near record lows, are boosting demand for homes at entry level prices.
Average apartment rents rose by 2.7% last year while the national vacancy rate dropped below 5% for the first time since 2001. This compounding factor has once again made the buy vs. rent argument and positive driver for purchasers.
It is truly a great time to buy…..and we can help!