Right now is already widely acknowledged as being a great time to buy a home. Therefore it's also an ideal time to be selling, as buyer sentiment is extremely positive at the moment - an opportunity too good to miss for purchasers and sellers alike.
So what is contributing to these very healthy conditions?
Zillow, the giant real estate website, has just reported that getting a mortgage is now considerably easier than a year ago. It says that access to mortgages is about two thirds of the way back to 2002: "a period before the housing bubble and crisis distorted home values and borrowers' ability to buy homes."
The new Zillow Mortgage Access Index, tracking lending trends, demonstrates that over the past couple of years lenders have begun to accept a wider range of borrowers. This means that many would be borrowers who were turned down previously are more likely to be accomodated now.
According to Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries: "Modestly easier credit will help first time buyers get into the market, which will have many benefits. We're a long way from again letting credit get too loose, but we'll need to remain vigilent not to repeat the mistakes of the recent past."
Mortgage rates also continue to remain below an average of 4% for a 30 year home loan. Although there has been a little up and down fluctuation, rates have stayed around near historic lows. Weaker than expected retail sales data last Thursday was enough to trigger a drop in rates, reversing a recent slight upward trend. No one can be certain how long low rates can continue but, for now at least, this can only be seen as a key contributor to positive buyer sentiment.
Factor in the low down payment mortgages for qualifying buyers that were introduced in December and it's easy to see why the buyer pool is expanding.
As if all that were not enough, last week the February 2015 National Housing Survey reported that continued strengthening in employment was fuelling consumer optimism toward the economy and appears to be contributing to further improvement in overall house buying sentiment.
There are two clear messages here. For buyers who have previously been turned down for a home loan, or were simply too afraid to apply, there are some really huge incentives to try again, or for the first time. Sellers of all types of homes clearly stand to benefit from growing demand, which will create greater sales right through the entire house buying chain, as an influx of first time buyers will provide the ability for more existing home owners to upgrade.
Whether you're a buyer or a seller, call us today and make the most of what looks more and more like a golden age for buyer sentiment.