Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and one thing’s for certain: today’s home buyers have a lot to be thankful for this year.
Thank Your Lucky Stars
For one, mortgage rates are low. Hovering around 4 percent (actually a smidge lower this week!) on a 30-year-loan, they’re rock-bottom, historically speaking. Just a decade ago, rates averaged 6 percent or higher.
Home prices have been climbing for the last couple of years, largely due to low inventory levels and wavering new construction. But over the past few months, the rate of that growth has started to slow pretty significantly. In fact, prices rose just 0.24 percent last month – less than half their rate in July. It seems the days of skyrocketing home prices are finally coming to an end.
Another big perk? It’s the annual holiday slow-down. With presents to buy and stockings to stuff – not to mention plenty of holiday traveling, most people just aren’t looking to purchase a home this time of year. But those who do choose to? They’re in luck, because the competition is way down, meaning lower prices, more properties to choose from and no bidding wars. It’s a win-win for everyone.
According to the Census Bureau, unemployment is down and incomes are up – all great things for Americans, especially those looking to buy a home. More money and better job situations equal bigger down payments, better mortgage rates and a more affordable property on the whole.
Even without a great job or six-figure income though, homeownership is still within reach for most Americans, thanks to the wide array of mortgage options currently available. From conventional and FHA-backed ones to loans specifically for veterans, there’s a whole slew of choices for today’s buyers. There are even down payment assistance programs, mortgages designed for those with student loan debt, and completely online, digital mortgages. There are options for every budget and lifestyle imaginable.
The Bottom Line
As we head into the holiday season, conditions are ripe for buying a home – and doing so at a decent price, too. With low rates, minimal competition and slowing price growth, now’s a better time than ever to become a home buyer.