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Is NOW a good time to buy?

By mdblog - April 20, 2012
Is now a good time to buy? A recent survey by Fannie Mae Housing cites that 73% of Americans are feeling the pressure of purchasing rather than renting their next home. With the anticipation of home prices and mortgage rates increasing in the next 12 months, anxious homebuyers are finally feeling ready to take the plunge. According to Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, some potential homebuyers feel that renting is becoming more costly than home ownership because 48% of Americans are expecting rent prices to continue to increase. Sounds like the next logical step would be to invest in a property yourself, right? Especially when the same survey reports “44 percent expect their financial situation to improve in the next year.” But is it safe to accurately project a timeline of the recovery process, and then plan accordingly? It would seem advantageous for anxious homebuyers to purchase in a market where short sales prevail. Not only is a short sale purchase a good option for the homebuyers, but “banks are realizing that short sale transactions usually sell for higher prices than foreclosures,” according to an article on RealtorMag.   In result, banks are speeding up the short sale process and taking steps towards making it a more seamless transaction for the homebuyer. Existing home sales saw a 2.6 percent decline, from 4.60 million in February to 4.48 million in March, but the numbers are much better than March of last year’s (5.2 percent above the 4.26 million-unit). While sales will vacillate from month to month, “job growth, low interest rates, bargain home prices and an improving economy, the pent-up demand is coming to market and we expect housing to be notably better this year,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. So is it a good time to buy? If Yun’s projections are correct, and the economy is slowly but surely bouncing back, then now would be a good time to invest in a home while prices are low.

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