The Spring Home Buying Season
Spring has always been the best time of the year to buy and sell a home. This was the season when you had your pick of houses, condos, and apartments. You had competitive prices, low mortgage rates, and good summer weather right around the corner to make for a seamless move-in.
Not anymore. According to Forbes, spring never sprang this year. Mortgage rates increased 15 basis points in April, while home sales slumped in March. “Though the median existing-home sales price edged lower year-over-year for the second consecutive month—a promising sign for home shoppers—substantial, nationwide price declines are likely not in the cards.
“Prices remain high because of tight inventory issues, making affordability a challenge for many, especially first-time homebuyers. The nation’s housing supply remains limited and will remain so for at least the near future.
Though home prices are not as eye-popping as in early 2022, how much further home prices dip in 2023 will depend on the housing market region and where mortgage rates go.”
However, home buyers had some good news. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that home sale prices declined 0.9% to $375,700 in March 2023 compared to a year ago. This is the second consecutive month of year-over-year home price declines after a 131-month streak of record increases, Total existing-home sales dipped 2.4% from February to March and are down 22% from a year ago.
What does all this mean to shoppers? Prices are still way too high and aren’t coming down to pre-pandemic levels – at least for now. And trying to finance one could put you in the poorhouse.
Bankrate says: While mortgage rates have dipped from their December 2022 peak, they still aren’t lower. Fewer buyers are willing to jump into the housing market, driving demand down and causing home prices to ease, but that’s only part of the home affordability equation.
“Even though home prices in many parts of the country have fallen since the start of the year, high rates make buying prohibitively expensive for many,” says Jacob Channel, senior economist at LendingTree. “It’s still difficult for many buyers, particularly those looking for their first home, to afford a monthly payment.”
Norada, the real estate investment company, says mortgage rates will keep rising in as the Federal Reserve continues its battle to cool the economy and fight inflation. This means that the housing market may continue to feel the effects of rising mortgage rates, with activity remaining muted for the time being.
So, should you buy a house now, wait until summer, or until next year? That’s an excellent question without a definitive answer. If you have good credit, a big enough down payment, and you find a home in a neighborhood or town you like, go ahead, and spring it on! You can start building equity and avoid the potential for increased mortgage rates later.
Here’s some good advice. Let a real estate agent help you navigate through these turbulent times. You can get a high-quality, up-to-date list of real estate agents targeted to your specific market by going to the Email List Company. They have been the #1 trusted source for real estate agent lists for over 20 years.