Potential home owners received the gift of (a little more) time when the Federal Reserve decided in September to keep interest rates low, but will likely enact a hike in December. Combined with the fact that it is cheaper to own than to rent in more than ¾ of the counties in the U.S., now is the time to buy.
Annual rent increases are rising at twice the rate of home listing prices, while mortgage rates remain at near record lows. (Good news for owners – home prices are rising, too!)
While home sales tend to dip dramatically in the fall and winter, this year may prove an exception given the current real estate climate. While many buyers historically wait until spring, buyers who act now will have more choices in available homes and less competition. Inventory is not expected to increase before summer of 2016 and buying now allows you to take advantage of the favorable mortgage rates that are not guaranteed into the New Year.
Consider doing more than window shopping this year. Act now while inventory is high and rates are nearing record lows. Waiting could cost up to a 50 point basis increase in rates (e.g., from 4.05% to 4.55%) which will affect both your monthly mortgage payment, as well as your ability to qualify for a loan.
If you need more reason to get moving on, well, moving, check out my blog from a few months ago about some attractive tax breaks for home owners, many of which are set to expire at the end of this year.
Do you plan on buying or selling before the year is up?