Homes prices make buying unaffordable. Interest rates rising sharply. Demand outpaces availability. 

If you’ve been paying attention – and even if you haven’t – you know these headlines have dominated real estate industry news outlets over the past couple of months. 

Your clients have heard about home buying challenges, too. And some of them may have come away nervous about trying to buy a home anytime soon. Maybe to the point where they are convinced that they simply can’t afford to purchase a home this year. 

While a home may not be affordable right now for some, others may just be trying to wait for the “perfect time” to buy. But here’s the problem you can help them see: That perfect time may never come.  

If your clients are trying to time the market right to buy, there are thousands of examples of people who figured the market “must” come down. Even real estate experts have trouble timing the market, so it’s not something your clients should try unless they are willing to risk forfeiting a good chunk of their future home equity. 

One thing is clear: it doesn’t look like housing prices will drop dramatically anytime soon. So, here’s the question your client needs help answering: Why should they buy now? 

Home price surge may get worse 

This year, the housing market has soared as home prices continue to surge because of high inflation and continued supply chain issues. The current upward trend of home prices is expected to continue, which could price out some home buyers.  

What does that mean for your clients? It means that while they’ll pay more than they want to for home now, it’s probably less than they will spend even six months from now. Like most goods and services, home prices are more likely to go up, not down. So, their options might be: Pay more now or pay much more later. 

Mortgage rates will continue to climb 

The Federal Reserve is in the beginning stages of throwing its biggest punch so far in the fight against surging inflation. After raising interest rates by .25 percent back in March, the Fed doubled down this week by raising interest rates by .5 percent — the largest rate hike in more than two decades. 

And they aren’t finished. Experts say interest rates may have to climb significantly to reduce demand after the Fed kept borrowing costs at rock-bottom levels through much of the coronavirus pandemic. Fed policymakers said in March that rates would need to rise nearly 2 full percentage points this year, with additional rate increases next year. 

Why should your clients care? Because these rates directly affect mortgage rates, which are already over 5 percent for the first time since 2008. Those rates are expected to continue climbing for the foreseeable future. Waiting to buy a home will mean higher mortgage payments and a higher overall loan amount.  

For example, today’s average monthly mortgage payment of $1,700 is about $500 more than last year and more than double a decade ago. 

Rising rent prices 

A Redfin survey found that 32 percent of renters said they rent because they can’t afford to buy a home where they want to live.  

But according to Realtor.com, the median rent price in America’s 50 largest cities soared to an all-time high of $1,792 in February 2022, with rents across the country up 17 percent compared to a year earlier.  

With these rent hikes, it’s not uncommon for renters to be paying more per month than homeowners do – even accounting for higher home prices and mortgage rates.  

Home equity opportunity 

Your clients should also look at the long-term consequences of renting vs. owning a home. For example, if they pay $1,500 per month in rent, that’s $18,000 per year. Over five years, that’s $90,000.  

That money is gone at the end of those five years, and the renter has nothing to show for it. But if they were putting that kind of money into a mortgage payment instead – even if home prices drop eventually – they’d be building up home equity. 

That’s why owning a home is one of the best investments your clients can ever make. Even though it may seem like an expensive investment right now, the future payoff will make them wonder why they second-guessed it. 

SOURCES 

Here’s Why Renters Aren’t Buying Homes Right Now. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/here-s-why-renters-aren-t-buying-homes-right-now/ar-AAVYre7