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How Will Rising Interest Rates Hurt Your Spending Power?
It's time for the December edition of the HOT OFF THE Press Real Estate Market Report!
This year, existing home sales started out slow. However, they continue to climb, as we've had an incredibly strong fall here in Montgomery County. Currently, foot traffic levels are skyrocketing, even though this is the time of year they usually fall. Additionally, pending home sales have stayed consistent through the fall season, which is also quite unusual.
Rather than watching the numbers fall off, they have stayed pretty steady this fall. So, why are there more buyers out there right now? For one, mortgage credit availability is becoming easier. Even though we hear that it's getting harder to secure lending, we are seeing more and more people take out mortgages.
The average FICO score on conventional purchase loans was an average of 763 in 2012. As of September of this year the average score is only 755, a significant drop. Looking at FHA loans, the average FICO scores of people taking out loans have dropped from 700 in 2012 to 682 right now! This makes buying a lot more feasible for a lot more buyers.
The combination of responsible, but flexible, lending standards and low interest rates makes now a fantastic time to buy. Interest rates have dropped a little bit over the past few weeks, but the NAR and Freddie Mac are expecting rates to rise to over 5% by the fourth quarter of 2015. To see the effect this has on your spending power, let's take a look at an example. If you took a mortgage out for $250,000 after rates have risen to around 5%, you could lose as much as $60,000 in family wealth over the life of a 30-year loan.
What does all this mean? To me, it's obvious: right now is an incredible time to buy real estate! The conditions are almost too good to be true, so you need to start testing the waters if you have even considered buying - the market can't get any better than it is now.
If you need to sell your current home, I want to invite you to one of our home seller seminars. We're having a Breakfast Seminar on January 24 at the Hilton Garden Inn from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Also, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., I am hosting a private staging workshop that's offered exclusively to people who follow our video blog! Go to HomeSharksSeminar.com to sign up and have breakfast on us!
Thanks, and we hope to see you soon!