With interest rates still below 4%, many buyers may be on the fence as to whether to act now and purchase a new home, or wait until next year.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their latest Existing Home Sales Report on Friday. Sales of existing homes rose by the largest increase ever recorded as they rebounded 14.7% over November’s numbers and now stand at 7.7% higher than a year ago.
While this is great news for the housing market, let’s take a look at one of the main reasons why there was such a large increase in sales.
Zillow recently revealed that the 43 million renter households in the US spent $535 billion on rent in 2015. Aggregate numbers like these often make it difficult to truly assess a situation. For more clarity, we want to share some points that were made in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month.
The article made two important points:
The housing crisis is finally in the rear view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2016 will be the year that the housing market again races forward.
People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.
The Census Bureau recently released their third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:
A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that rents rose “faster last year than at any time since 2007, a boon for landlords but one that has stoked concerns about housing affordability for renters.”
The article also cited results from a recent Reis Inc report which revealed that average effective rents rose 4.6% in 2015, the biggest gain since before the recession. Over the past 15 years, rents have risen at a rate of 2.7% annually.
Where are rents headed?
Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com recently warned that:
“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”
According to the WSJ article:
“In general, the higher rents go, the more difficult it will be for young people to save for down payments, making them likely to rent even longer.”
One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home. If you are ready and willing to buy, meet with a local real estate professional who can help determine if you are able to today!