Housing trends for 2018 can help you plan ahead

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Judy Boyle, Realtor®, RE/MAX

Judy BoyleHappy New Year! It is once again that time of year when most of us contemplate our lifestyles. Some want to get organized. Some want to lose weight. Whatever the motivation, it’s a great time to reset and I wish much success to you all in your resolutions.

The New Year is also a great time for us to think about our financial goals and a large part of that is reviewing our current living situations. The renters may be done doling out a third of their salaries to make someone else wealthy. Others may be wondering if it is time to upgrade or downsize the home they own. Regardless of your situation, you need to know the facts and what the industry experts are predicting for 2018 so you can make informed decisions.

 

Rising home values

We all know that there is a lack of inventory to fulfill the demand of prospective homebuyers. Consumer confidence is up and unemployment is low. All of these factors have been driving up home values in Massachusetts an average of 7 percent each year for the past three years. What this means is, if you bought a home in 2014 for $300,000, it very well may be worth $368,000 this year. Such industry experts as CoreLogic, Freddie Mac and National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun all predict that this trend will continue for several more years without the risk of a “housing bubble” in sight.

 

Financing the purchase

While lending guidelines are strict, there really is a program for everyone with steady employment, low debt-to-income ratios, low down payments and/or less than perfect credit scores. While interest rates are still hovering around 4 percent, we need to heed the warnings of our industry experts, however, who predict that they could rise to 4.6 percent, if not more, by the end of the year.

 

To put this all into perspective, take a look at the charts below which illustrate what the same house would cost you today (principal and interest) versus the fourth quarter 2018.

 

DATEMORTGAGEMORTGAGE RATEPAYMENT
January ‘18$400,0004.0%   $1,910
December ‘18$428,0004.6%   $2,194
 

DIFFERENCE

 

$   284

 
DATEMORTGAGEMORTGAGE RATEPAYMENT
January ‘18$700,0004.0%   $3,341
December ‘18$749,0004.6%   $3,840
 

DIFFERENCE

 

$   499

 

So when someone asks me “When is the best time to buy or sell…or both?” my answer is always “When you are ready.”  Then I follow up with “But the longer you wait the more you will pay.”

Boyle lives in Northborough where she is also the chapter leader of the Neighbor Brigade, a local nonprofit that assists families in times of need. She has been a real estate agent since 2003 and consistently wins awards and accolades for excellence in customer service and sales volume.

Her mission is to empower her clients to make smarter decisions through data-driven insights and local market knowledge. She invites you to follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/judyboylerealtor, call or email her for the Winter ‘17/’18 Home Buyer and/or Seller Guides or for a FREE market analysis.