September 10, 2015
Buying in a Boom
TheStreet.com quoted me in How Consumers Can Buy Houses in a Booming Market. The story reads, in part,
Home prices have also risen compared to last year as the number of homes sold rose in all parts of the country except for the Midwest, according to a recent report from PNC, the Pittsburgh-based financial institution. The median sale price for an existing single-family home was $288,300 in July, up from $279,700 in June.
“The housing market continues to gradually recover from the Great Recession, supporting economic growth,” Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC. “Stronger demand and good affordability are supporting home sales and pushing up house prices.”
Many economists are predicting that home prices will continue to increase this year. PNC said prices will rise by 3.7% in 2015 and 2.7% in 2016, down from 6.6% in 2014.
“This year we [saw] inventory continue to grow in August and while overall demand is strong, the trend in median days on market is suggesting that the market is finding more of a balance,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of Realtor.com, the San Jose, Calif. real estate service company. “This bodes well for would-be buyers who have been discouraged by the inability to find a home to buy this spring and summer.”
Consumers who are still eager to purchase a home still have many opportunities left to negotiate a deal within their price range. While it is tougher to buy a house in a tight market, here are some tips to give homebuyers a head start.
Looking for a house in the fall is generally a better bet. Even though there are fewer homes on the market right now, there are “definitely less buyers, so there’s less competition,” said Mark Lesses, a broker with Coldwell Banker in Lexington, Mass.
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Renters Who Wait Can Benefit
Buying a house during a tight market could prove to be an expensive endeavor. Staying out of the market might be a good option, because housing prices could level off and decline, said David Reiss, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School in N.Y.
“Sometimes it is cheaper to rent,” he said. “Don’t try to time the real estate market. Look at your needs and what you could afford, and consider if it is a good choice.”