Do you see the signs?
Maybe you’re tired of hearing it from us, but now would be a great time to buy real estate. If you read this column, you know that our market has slowed, but not like other primary markets, nor like in other resort destination markets. We see hopeful signs leading into 2010, and are optimistic that the improving economy will help to recharge our local market, which is primarily comprised of second home buyers and sellers. We don’t anticipate any radical price increases in the near future, but if you’re waiting for the bottom, be careful … you might hit your head! Here are a few reasons to consider buying a home in the next several months … or, how about today?The mortgage market is reportedly HOT. Despite that we’re in the typically quiet holiday season, applications for home mortgages climbed a whopping 42 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Maybe the long Thanksgiving weekend gave folks a chance to consider their purchasing options, or maybe the spike in applications is due to the extension of the $8,000 tax credit or the start-up of the new $6,500 credit. Or maybe … folks are seeing that rates are inching upward again, thanks to the economy gaining a little momentum. Mortgage rates are still VERY low … 4.9 percent on average for 30-year fixed, less than that for a 15 year fixed. But, MBA chief economist, Jay Brinkmann says they’re likely to exceed 5.2 percent by March. So, maybe the rush to gain financing now is a well-informed move, instead of paying higher rates in the spring. If you need more signs that NOW is the time to buy, Freddie Mac reports that home prices nationwide were up by about one point on average during the third quarter. That’s on top of a 2 percent gain for the second quarter. Clear Capital, a real estate data company, also found prices up marginally, +1.4 percent during the month of November, and a few markets came in with double digit gains. Not all surveyors agree, however; the “IAS 360” index (IAS is a wealth management software company) calculated another result, finding that prices in the U.S. were down slightly on average, roughly -0.5 percent. I think it’s fair to say that prices have stabilized in most markets, and in fact, they’re up a little in certain markets. Realty Trac says foreclosure filings in November dropped by 8 percent, marking the fourth consecutive month of declines. And Trans Union, the big credit bureau, forecasts 3 percent fewer mortgage delinquencies next year, this after three straight years of rising delinquency rates. So, to hit the bottom of the mortgage market AND the lowest prices on resort real estate since 2006-ish … think about purchasing a home. Call us to learn more about the resort market, or to find a Realtor in your hometown!TheTeam@Elich.com is at Re/Max Properties of the Summit, 305 Main Street in Frisco. Butch Elich & Paula Parker are longtime locals providing real estate customers with award winning service. Find them at http://www.elich.com or search for them by name on Google, Twitter, or Facebook.
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