Sure Signs that Now is a Great Time to Buy

by on March 11, 2011

Spring is in the air and very true to form, the real estate market is heating up. There are more homes for sale. The prices are right and even though mortgage rates have crept up by about a percentage point, from a historical perspective, they are still quite low.

Here is a list of a few of the factors which are making now an excellent time to purchase a property:

  • Jobs: Although many areas of the country were deeply impacted by the recession, some areas were less affected by job loss.  If employment stability is a concern, prospective buyers should review job-growth data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov.  The data provided by the Bureau is approximately one month old and shows the direction of the local economy.
  • Recent Sales Activity: Housing inventory and sales volume should be taken into consideration while house hunting.  A large inventory of homes with few actual transactions can be a negative indicator.  On the other hand, if inventory is falling and transactions are rising, that is a good sign.  In January, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ Unsold Inventory Index stood at 6.7 months, up from 5 months in December 2010, but down from 5.7 months in January 2010.  The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
  • Construction: Staying up-to-date on the number of building permits issued for local builders is useful for gauging builder sentiment and the future of housing activity.  The California Building Industry Association recently announced that California homebuilders pulled 2,920 total housing permits in January, registering a 5-percent decline compared with a year ago and a 56-percent decline compared with December.  However, the Construction Industry Research Board is projecting 62,000 total permits will be pulled in 2011, an increase of 38 percent compared with 2010’s total of 44,893 permits.
  • Mortgage Availability: Home buyers hoping to be approved for a mortgage should monitor local lending patterns.  Following the financial crisis, most national banks tightened lending standards; however, some local banks haven’t been impacted as much as large lenders and are more willing to lend, even for higher-priced homes.
  • Anecdotal Evidence: Although buyers can access home listings online, one of the best ways to monitor the local housing market is to work with a REALTOR® and gather intelligence using their expertise and guidance.

How does this impact you? My job, as a REALTOR® is to stay current on what is happening in our local market and insure that my clients have the latest information on market trends locally as well as in specific neighborhoods or with specific properties.

If you have a particular neighborhood or home that you would like more information on, I am at your service. There is a wealth of data out there. Let me access it for you to assess if now is the perfect time for you to take the next step towards home ownership!

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