With winter approaching, many homebuyers and sellers assume now is the time to put real estate matters on hold. That logic may have held true in years past, but in the current market the idea of hibernating for the winter may not be the best decision. Following are a few reasons why right now is the right time for both buyers and sellers to be in the market.
1. Price – The #1 reason qualified individuals are reluctant to buy today is a fear that prices will fall. And they may. But according to a recent story on MSN.com, “it doesn’t really matter in the long haul.” Housing affordability is near an all-time high, and according to the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index, local prices have increased for six consecutive months through August.
2. Interest Rates – Mortgage interest rates are 30% lower than they were four years ago. When you layer today’s rates on top of prices that are 30% lower, you get monthly principal and interest that is only slightly more than half of what it was four years ago. That’s a big deal.
3. Less Expensive Than Renting – According to the latest Trulia.com Rent vs. Buy Index, it is less expensive to own a home in Chicago than it is to rent. The 50-city index is calculated using the average list price compared with the average rent on two-bedroom apartments, condos, townhomes and co-ops listed on Trulia.com.
Good Time to Sell
1. Buyers Are Serious – It may be fun to drive around and look at open houses on a beautiful summer day, but when the weather starts to turn and people get busy with holiday schedules, kicking the tires on a new home is usually the last thing on someone’s mind…unless, of course, they actually need to buy. Sure, there are fewer buyers in the fall and winter, but the ones who are out there are serious.
2. You’re Moving Up – The thought of losing equity on a sale doesn’t appeal to anyone, but in this market, sellers who trade up have more to gain than to lose. That’s because, dollar for dollar, the more expensive home they’re buying almost certainly has come down in price more than the home they’re selling, which means move-up buyers will actually come out ahead provided they have the finances to complete a transaction.
3. Less Competition – While inventories remain high relative to past markets, the number of homes for sale in the fall and winter is generally about 25% less than in the spring. In addition, the recent moratorium on foreclosures has kept thousands of homes off the market. Those homes will eventually be put up for sale. So if you can capture the last few weeks of fall, you will face less competition than if you wait until next spring.
If you’re considering buying or selling, there are many more reasons why it makes sense to do so now. To talk about your specific real estate needs, call or e-mail me today. And please remember that I always appreciate your referrals.