The following is a guest post from Nigerian real estate developer Michael Chudi Ejekam.
There are many reasons why this is a good time to buy a home.
Housing prices have been falling for more than a year in most parts of the country. Sellers, many of them desperate to sell their residences, are willing to compromise on everything from price to closing dates to repairs. Buyers also can choose from a large inventory of unsold homes.
A new report, though, by the National Association of Realtors may signal the start of the much-awaited recovery of the housing market.
And with that recovery may come an increase in the sales prices of homes on the market.
Home Values Rise
The latest sales survey by the Realtors association says that the median value of existing homes — which includes condos, single-family homes and condominiums — rose by 4.2 percent from February to March. Home values do typically rise in March. However, housing values historically have risen only an average of 1.8 percent from February to March.
The 4.2-percent increase this year means that the median sales price of an existing home in March stood at $175,200.
This is still a good value, especially considering that it is 7.1 percent lower than the median home sales price from one year ago.
Still, the Realtors report is causing some analysts to wonder whether the housing market has finally reached its bottom and is, at long last, poised for a recovery.
Will Housing Prices Continue to go Up?
A housing recovery would be good for the economy. It wouldn’t be as good for anyone hoping to buy a house.
Predicting when this recovery will come, though, is tricky business.
For instance, an economist at First American Real Estate Information, Sam Khater, in a story in the Orange County Register, predicts that a housing recovery won’t occur until late 2018 at the earliest.
But Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, is predicting that housing sales will increase significantly in the middle of summer this year. Yun points to the $8,000 first-time homebuyers tax credit, historically low mortgage interest rates and a large inventory of unsold homes as the reasons for his prediction.
Buyers Should Make a Move When They’re Ready
No one knows yet who’s right, Yun or Khater. It’s safest, then, for buyers to purchase a home when it makes sense to them, regardless of whether the housing market has hit bottom or not.
Combined with low interest rates, the declining sales prices of homes across the country mean that housing is more affordable than it’s been in a decade. Buyers who need to purchase, and who find that ideal home, would be wise to make an offer.