May 19, 2010 // Franchising.com // MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. – Much attention was paid to the now expired tax credit and the unique opportunity it presented for homebuyers, and rightfully so. However, those who didn't have a chance to capitalize on this financial incentive from the government but plan to buy a home in the near future shouldn't dwell on it for too long. If they do, they might miss out on an even more important factor that is currently benefiting homebuyers – affordability.
"When it comes to determining housing affordability, no two factors play a bigger role than home prices and interest rates," said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors. "Those who buy today are able to get more home for their buck thanks to a great combination of low interest rates and attractive home prices."
In fact, according to Freddie Mac, the national average of interest rates for a 30-year fixed convention mortgage was 5.00% last week, less than a tenth of a percent from the all-time record low. That means today's buyers are able to borrow money on more affordable terms than virtually any other time in the past.
Current home prices are also contributing favorably for buyers. As a result of the market correction that took place the past few years, home prices have receded to their lowest level in years. This is good news for those looking to buy now at an affordable price.
Just as encouraging for those thinking about purchasing a home in the near future is the fact the home prices appear to be stabilizing or even rising. A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors shows that for the first quarter of the year, 91 of 152 metropolitan areas experienced home price gains from the same period in 2009. In the Northeast, home prices were up nine percent from last year.
While home price stabilization is good news for potential buyers in terms of the likely return on their investment, it should also signal some sense of urgency. The same can be said for today's historically-low interest rates. The reality is rates are much more likely to begin creeping up throughout the year than they are to drop any further.
"Those who didn't purchase a home before they tax credit missed out on a chance to claim up to $8,000. However, those who don't capitalize on the affordability being offered by today's market could easily be leaving five to 10 times that amount on the table over the course of a 30 year loan," added Weichert.
Weichert has nearly 18,000 sales associates in approximately 500 company-owned and franchised sales offices in key markets throughout the U.S. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance. For more information, Weichert's customer service center can be reached at 1-800-USA-SOLD or at Weichert's Web site, www.weichert.com. Each Weichert franchised office is independently owned and operated.