Interest rates hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, which gave many buyers relief from rising home prices and helped with affordability. In the first quarter of 2018, rates have increased from 3.95% up to 4.45%, and experts predict that rates will increase even more by the end of the year.
The rate you secure greatly impacts your monthly mortgage payment and the amount you will ultimately pay for your home. Don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year.
Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.
Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.
Should you buy now, or wait until next year? Find out the difference a year could make below.
Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019. Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.1% by 2019. The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home, and the higher your monthly payment will be. CoreLogic also predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.3% over the next 12 months.
If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to! Interest rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!
Daylight Savings Time is here. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward this Sunday, March 11th at 2:00 AM EST. Unless of course, you are a resident of Arizona or Hawaii! Every hour in the United States: 614 homes are sold, 81 homes regain equity (meaning they are no longer underwater on their mortgage), and the median home price rises $1.51!
We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high, and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.
Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.
REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX - Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that homebuying demand continued to outpace the supply of homes available in January.
The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger demand there is).
In addition to revealing high demand, the index also shows that compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 22 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in only 4 states (Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota & Utah).
Demand for housing continues to be strong but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018. In Orlando, Florida, there is currently only a 2.47 month supply of homes available for sale, compared to the average 6 month supply. This is down 11% from this time last year.
THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT - The most important data revealed in the report was not sales but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:
“Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply. The underproduction of single-family homes over the last decade has played a predominant role in the current inventory crisis that is weighing on affordability.”
In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.
As we mentioned before, there is currently a 3.4-month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Existing Home Sales Report shows that 43% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.
In January, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 42 days. As Yun notes, this will continue unless more listings come to the market.
“While the good news is that Realtors in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”
Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market and supply will ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.
Bottom Line: If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.
Katie Tedesco is a FULL-TIME REALTOR® with Watson Realty Corp.