Thursday, April 03, 2008

When is a Buyers Market a Buyers Market?

The news stories these days are scary. If you start to separate out the fact from the fiction or fear, you can begin to make an educated decision about what makes economic sense buyers you when making their next home purchase.

Keep your eye on those interest rates NOT the property prices. They will have more long term impact on your home buying power.

"The thing that will make home prices stop falling is the very same thing that will push mortgage rates higher," says Jim Svinth, chief economist at mortgage firm Lending Tree. "So anything you gain by a further drop in prices might be offset by rising financing costs."

Rather than being concerned about the what-ifs, I'd suggest focusing more on the what-wills: The interest rates will continue to climb (which is an inevitable outcome from an economy such as ours) to head off inflationary pressures which is a reason Bernanke will not likely cut the Fed Rate again - in order to keep inflation in check.

Since January 24th, mortgage rates have climbed 0.6% which is the fastest increase in two decades and rates should continue to rise. That increase in mortgage rates is the same effect as a property losing 5% of its value! That means if you were able to afford a $600,000 home, now you would be limited to $570,000. Look at the numbers on the enclosed sheet and let's talk about why they call it a buyers market. Because rates are still historically low (but rising) and that is what will have the most impact on getting the best deal on a home.

Experts who specialize in macroeconomics know that rates will raise and so will the cost to own the longer you wait.