There will always be good news and bad news about real estate and the economy…
Looking at various real estate news articles this week, it seems that remaining optimistic about housing may start to become a less controversial opinion. Maybe my annoying positive attitude will catch on regarding housing.
The Mortgage Bankers Association has said that U.S. mortgage applications rose last week, even after interest rates edged up from record lows. We may be getting close to the “bottom” that so many people like to talk about or even try to predict. I have confidence in saying that I will be able to predict with 100% accuracy the “bottom” 10 years after it has occurred.
I can see trends, and look at statistics, but if we are looking at the housing market on a national scale, it does not take into account pockets such as Upstate SC that have not experienced the bubble and burst elsewhere. Sales have been slower because of many reasons.
The constant media barrage of negative housing stories, and also possibly due to the fact that last year was an election year according to some of the more seasoned veterans in my market, the lack of consumer confidence in the economy in general. But is is a bright sunny day in Anderson SC and time to cast aside your fears and hear some good news.
The weekly average rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for thirty-year mortgages remained stable for the third consecutive week at 5.08%, down slightly from 5.09% the week prior according to the Zillow Mortgage Rate Monitor. Of course any news from Zillow has to be taken with a grain of salt considering the source.
But with rates at such low levels, it is a great time to at least investigate whether or not purchasing a home is right for you now. The first step in buying is determining your budget and talking to a lender. Sure you can browse and dream, but before getting too deep into looking you must determine your price range so you are not wasting your valuable time.
Demand for home purchase loans, an indicator of home sales, far outweighed demand for refinancing according to the NAHB. The increase may help gauge what is in store for the hard-hit U.S. housing market this spring, the peak home buying season. So it appears that some people are actually buying! And I can tell you there is more activity in my office, more hits on my website, more phone calls, more showings.
Thanks to record low mortgage rates and declining home prices, 55 million families – or half of all U.S. households – can afford today’s $200,000 median-priced new home, according to figures released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). So not only is there more interest, but it appears to be a better time to buy a home for many.
Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau comparing home prices, mortgage rates and minimum income needed to purchase a median-priced home in February 2007 and February 2009, a typical family today can purchase a house with $20,000 less in household income and save nearly $500 per month on their principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The number of households that can afford to purchase a home today is 55.4 million, compared with 38.4 million two years ago, according to figures compiled by NAHB.
With affordability better, interest rates down, and the many choices, why buyers are not out in droves is a little discerning. Are they still scared or uneasy about the economy in general?
So there is some good news out there if you just look. I was even surprised to read a somewhat positive article regarding buying now in the WSJ. The article mentions the low rates and many homes that are priced right.
But what about other economic news?
Bankruptcy filings by businesses increased 86% last year in South Carolina, according to a report released last week by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Nationally, bankruptcy filings increased at an even steeper rate – 31% last year, reaching 1.1 million. News like this may scare some people.
Hey, you can look at a glass as half empty, half full or complain that there is not enough ice in the glass and you would rather have Diet Coke instead of iced tea.
But the facts are starting to creep out- housing is slowly showing signs of recovery according to some.
The number of nationwide foreclosure filings increased nearly 30 percent from February 2008 to February 2009. The states of Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida continue to post the highest foreclosure rates. But that is not necessarily true everywhere and getting the lowdown about the real estate market conditions in Upstate South Carolina means contacting someone like me that does nothing but deal with real estate right here.
There will always be good news and bad news about real estate and the economy.
You will have to determine whether it is time to start looking to buy or if you will continue to wait to buy a home.
You have to decide what is best for you.