Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Great Time to Sell and Buy

While inventory has been coming to the market slowly we are still at lower levels than we've seen in the past several years.  There have already been signs of movement in some of the new listings that have come to the market since the beginning of the year, an indication of the pent up demand and buyers that have already started to look at homes.

In the meantime, in the past month or so, there has been a shift in the mortgage market as already low rates have come down to truly historic lows. 30 year fixed loans, even Jumbo loans up to $2 million are now well below 4%-I've seen rates of 3.625% today from Skip Wasserman at Atlantic Residential for these fixed rates, and rates as low as 2.625% for 5/1 fixed Adjustable Rate Mortgages.

So what does this mean to the buyer and seller?   For the buyer this is a market where prices have recently been holding steady or even declining slightly in some markets.  Prices, therefore, are at reasonable levels.  There has been talk about the Fed raising the interest rates on mortgages at some point this year.  It's hard to say how much this increase will be, but let's just imagine what that would
mean for someone looking to purchase a home with a $800,000 mortgage (putting 20% down for a purchase of a home selling at $1 million).  At current rates the monthly cost would be $3648 per
month for a 30 year mortgage.  If the rates go back to the levels that we saw only one month ago, at 4.125%, the cost differential would be $229 per month, or $2,748 a year. Looked at in a slightly
different way, this type of change would represent a 12% increase.  Seen in a different way,
if home prices were to go up 12%, a home now selling for $800,000 would be the equivalent of a home selling for $896,000 if the rate was at 4.125%.

For the seller, the fact that rates are so low means that buyers can now afford more than they could even one month ago (see above).  This will increase the buyer pool in different price points, and should therefore may it easier to sell their homes (especially if inventory levels remain low). 

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