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For everyone who buys a house between now and February 29th, you're going to look at those people in the same way you look at people who bought houses at the beginning of covid.

You're going to look back and be like *darn it* why wasn't I that smart? Why was I so scared? What was I thinking?

I’ll repeat again because it’s that important….

Anyone who buys a house right now is going to get the best deal you'll see in years.

There is no competition right now. The second interest rates drop again you're going to see millions of buyers jump into the market and housing prices will never be the same...

Mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest level since May 2023. Additionally, I am optimistic regarding mortgage rates, but not overly. I believe rates will slowly continue to move toward the low 6% range over the course of 2024. However, I don't believe we will see 5% rates during 2024 unless the Fed drastically changes their stance on inflation.

Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday showed that the average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage decreased to 6.60% this week, a decline from 6.62% last week but still up from 6.33% a year ago.

"This is an encouraging development for the housing market and in particular first-time homebuyers who are sensitive to changes in housing affordability," Khater said in a statement. "However, as purchase demand continues to thaw, it will put more pressure on already depleted inventory for sale."

In Western Washington compared to 2022, there were 19,829 fewer sales in 2023, a decrease of 23.6%. This is the second year-over-year decrease in sales since the record highs of 2021. The decrease in sales volume in 2023 is indicative of the persistent low inventory paired with high interest rates, particularly in the more populous King and Snohomish counties.

Lower mortgage rates are already pushing up prices in many areas. The Cascade Team just listed a home in North Bend that received approximately 30 offers and will close about $125,000 over asking price.

I expect home prices to continue to increase in most of the greater Seattle area and especially on the eastside of King County. Mortgages rates in the 7% range pushed a lot of home buyers to the sidelines in 2023, however, now that rates have cooled a bit, buyers are slowly reentering the market.

If you buy a home now, you could potentially have less competition than if you waited, and you can reduce the risk of paying more down the road. The advantage "of buying right now” is that you know what the market is like.

A dearth of existing homes for sale is keeping prices elevated, but a sharp decline in mortgage rates has spurred an uptick in demand, particularly for new homes. While rates are still relatively high, you might be better off acting now than facing whatever comes next. The reality is that once interest rates drop, it is likely that competition will increase and make it even more difficult to buy.

The bottom line

If you are looking to buy or decided to wait last year because of high rates (We were at 8% in October) and if you have the savings and the income to afford a mortgage now, you might benefit from locking in a price and enjoying the benefits of home ownership. The market could also get more crowded in a lower interest rate environment which could signal a return to bidding wars and homes increasing faster than many experts predicted just a couple months ago.

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Posted by Cary W Porter on


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