New real estate market data offers more of the same. Affordability is up.

Posted on 09/01/11 No Comments

Recent Triangle housing market statistics making the local news sites and shows told us pretty much what we expected to see: an increase in sales price from this time last year. However, a steep drop that occurred shortly after the federal government ceased the homebuyer tax credit program bolstered the increase. Home prices were up in many of the nation’s largest markets.

So, what we see in these stats is actually the result of what happens when “we” get too involved in the natural business cycle. (And yes, the same type of intervention is what led to the burst bubble we’re dealing with now.)

Despite the fluctuations, we maintain the same stance we had a year ago: The only right time to buy or sell is when you need to buy or sell. There are times when mortgage rates and real estate value work more in favor of the homebuyer than they do for the seller. And vice versa.

With mortgage rates where they are today and the Fed’s promise to keep them that way for a while, it’s safe to say now is a better time for buyers. Triangle MLS figures show that our housing affordability index has increased, which means houses are on average more affordable than they were a year ago. The index was 176, which translates to mean that the average household income was 179 percent of what it takes to qualify for a home at the median price, based on current interest rates.

We encourage all of our clients to do what’s right for their family because if there is one consistent truism about the current real estate market, it’s that no one can predict what it’s going to do tomorrow. Countless economic appendages have become intertwined with each other, so the more one tries to free itself, the more convoluted the knot becomes.

If you have questions about the market and what you should do with your idea for a new home or one you want to sell, give us a call. We’ll do our best for you.

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