Homebuyers are getting a lot of mixed messages this year. Interest rates are near record lows, but housing prices are still rising. So should you continue to rent or go ahead and take the plunge to buy? That depends a lot on both your needs and where you live.
You may be wanting more space for home offices, play areas for kids, and more. You may not have to be close to work, which is one reason why there’s a current exodus out of expensive cities like New York City and San Francisco to suburbs or smaller towns. Another reason is cost.
According to HomebuyingInstitute.com, home prices will almost certainly continue to rise through 2021, primarily due to limited supply and strong demand. Interestingly, the pandemic appeared to fuel the housing market. Realtor.com reported that median home listing prices rose 15.4 percent between January 2020 and January 2021. And, in the 50 largest U.S. metros homes sold 12 days faster in 2021.
At the same time, the number of homes for sale in January was down 42.6% year over year. That means 443,000 fewer homes for sale which only exacerbates demand.
Mortgage interest rates hit record lows in January 2021, with nowhere to go but stay the same or go up. You may want to take advantage of that to keep monthly payments low before housing prices rise further.
Meanwhile, some home markets may level off, while others like Austin, Seattle and Tampa are expected to heat up.