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Interest Rates Down, Home Prices Up – What gives?

Posted by Susanna Haynie on September 12, 2012
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Buy a house now in Colorado SpringsThe latest Housing Affordability Index from the National Association of REALTORS® shows an interesting trend taking place this year that needs buyers’ attention. Most people know that the mortgage rates are still at incredibly low rates but don’t feel there is much sense of urgency.

This report shows that mortgage rates have fallen from 4.37% in January to 3.81% for June. However, the report shows that the payment as a percentage of income has gone from 12.1% to 13.9% which simply means that buyers have to spend more of their income on a home.

The reason is that the median price of homes nationally has gone from $154,600 in January to $190,100 in June which is a 23% increase. The two major components of housing affordability are the price of the homes and the mortgage rates a buyer must pay.

Another influence in the market place is the supply factor. With rising rental rates, homeowners decide and can afford to rent their home instead of selling. It’s a nice alternative for plenty of homeowners. However, less inventory means increasing prices as the same amount of buyers are pushing into the market.

Even if one of those components is going down, the other could have a significant affect as is shown in this year’s trend in housing affordability. In the past few weeks, the effects of which are not show in this report, mortgage rates have been slowly but steadily moving up.

Home buyers and investors who have been taking a wait and see approach need to make a decision if now is the time to act.

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