Only 21% of Americans think that now is a good time to buy a house according to a poll conducted by Fannie Mae. This is down from 28% from September, and the new data follows a summer in which the overall housing market was strong. Buyers in California and throughout the country feel that homes are becoming less affordable. Prices have been on the rise in recent months as mortgage interest rates have fallen and a larger number of buyers entered the market.
However, as demand increases, mortgage rates are starting to go up as well, and that often leads to higher mortgage payments even if home prices stayed flat. According to one economist, stagnant wages are also making it difficult for individuals to afford homes in many cities. Prices are expected to rise in 93% of metropolitan markets according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
About 10% of homes on the market today are priced at $200,000 or less. In 2009, about 40% of homes were in this price range, and there has been a noticeable lack of new starter homes being built. A lack of supply could be holding some buyers back even if they aren’t concerned about rising interest rates. There is some belief that home sales could slow if prices rise faster than household incomes.
It is generally a good idea to have an attorney review a purchase contract before a real estate closing. This may ensure that a buyer understands what the agreement says and what happens if the deal isn’t finalized or isn’t finalized in a timely manner. An attorney may also work to ensure that there are no issues with a home’s title and that necessary disclosures have been made before the sale becomes final.