Fall signals the traditional start of real estate's second busy selling season, and while that's all fine and good, when it comes to making your own momentous personal real estate decision - whether to buy a home or to sell your own; trying to decide exactly when to make the move is easier said than done.
It is true that this year national observers are unusually unanimous in expecting that last year's sales upswing will continue. But if you are deciding whether now is the right time to buy a Boston area home (or list yours for sale), the reasons behind the quickening sales activity might be an eye-opener.
Here are five of the headline reasons why so many will decide to buy a home in 2014:
A Third Cheaper Than Renting
Web giant Trulia's national averages show that it is still 35% less expensive to own than to rent. In the 100 largest metropolitan areas, even after mortgage rates rose from 3.75 to 4.50%, the home ownership advantage continued.
Protection Against Rising Rents
Renters are finding it more of a hassle even to find an apartment. In the third quarter of 2013, the U.S. apartment vacancy rate fell to its lowest level in over a decade (4.2%) even as the average effective rent in the U.S. rose by 3%, year over year. With supply of rental accommodation tight and unemployment falling, experts expect even higher rents in 2014.
House Prices Are Still Relatively Low
Again according to Trulia, house prices are still below benchmark value levels. In 91% of the largest metropolitan markets, analysts estimate that homes were 7% undervalued in 2013...and headed up.
It's Becoming Easier to Qualify for a Mortgage
As interest rates rise, mortgage lender refinance business will suffer. Consequently, lenders will need to compete harder for new home buyers. That's expected to lead to loosening of lending strictures, effectively increasing the number of prospective buyers.
House Prices Are Expected To Rise
House prices increased by 2% in the third quarter of last year, according to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) figures. If consensus predictions hold true, house prices will continue to rise by 3% in 2014, making sooner rather than later the optimal way to participate in that upward trajectory. Whether you are hoping to buy a home in our area this year or beginning to think it's time to explore selling, the signs are certainly there.
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