While the home market has been volatile over the past decade, it is starting to stabilize. It’s that stability and the accompanying equilibrium between buyers and sellers that makes 2017 a good year to buy a home. Sure, you won’t see the kind of explosive growth homebuyers saw a few years ago, but you also probably won’t see the kind of deep drop in home values that preceded it.
Home values are continuing to grow at a stable rate
Zillow is predicting home values will grow 3.5 percent, according to their Home Price Expectations survey, while Realtor.com suggests a similar 3.9 percent growth. Ten-X (formerly Auction.com) and ATTOM Data Solutions, owner of RealtyTrac, put values between 3 and 4 percent as well. All these predictions are slightly slower than 2016’s near 5 percent growth.
This is a good thing: Slower, more stable growth means the market is returning to a more predictable norm, making the investment of buying a home less risky. It also means that homes will only continue to get more expensive, so buying now allows you to get in on the growth and avoid kicking the can down the road and paying more in the future.
Mortgage rates are predicted to climb
Mortgage rates have already jumped from around 3.5 percent in early November to 4.3 percent in late December, and experts generally agree that we’ve already seen the bottom. It’s unlikely interest rates will retreat much, so getting a mortgage now, before they increase more, is a smart move.
Rental rates are predicted to climb
Nationally, rents are predicted to rise. The Urban Land Institute puts the figure at 3 percent while Zillow says 1.7 percent, though it depends on the market. Rent prices, particularly in urban markets, have exploded since the early part of the decade, and while they are slowing down, they continue to grow and squeeze renters’ budgets.
And the fact remains: Housing costs to continue to go up—but with every percentage point rents grow, that’s money out of the renter’s pocket. With every percentage point that home prices appreciate, that’s money put into a homeowner’s largest asset. With the growth in rent and home prices slowing down, but continuing at a steady pace, that makes buying a home a less risky, but still potentially profitable decision.
If you are looking to buy a home this year, you want an agent who knows the ins and outs of your local market, who understands how to purchase a home that not only meets your needs and fulfills your dreams, but is a smart investment in your future. You need a Certified Residential Specialist, agents who have extra education, training and experience that they apply every day to helping their clients find the best deals out there.