As we enter the autumn and winter seasons, available housing inventory will typically decrease and real estate activity will slow. Nationwide, there are currently about 3.48 million homes for sale. The National Association of Realtors predicts that this number will probably drop to less than 3 million over the next few months.
Meanwhile, would-be buyers will shift their focus towards the holidays, waiting for the boost in available properties that usually comes in the spring. And there are good indicators that some areas will see significant changes in the market next year:
- New residential construction surged 15% in September – the best performance in 17 months.
- Mortgage applications increased 1.3% for the week ending October 7, 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
- Pending home sales this past September were 6.4% higher than in September of 2010.
Qualified buyers are in a strong position to negotiate a good price on their next home right now. With home prices and interest rates at historically low levels, now may be the time to consider a move before the market heats up again.
Q: Is this a good time to buy a rental property?
A: Low home prices combined with low interest rates make this the best time in years to become a real estate investor. News sources like MSNBC have been reporting since summer of a strong rental market in today’s economy, calling it a “landlord’s market” in many cities and anticipating rising rents.
If you’re considering purchasing a property to rent, location is of prime importance. Safe neighborhoods that are near good schools and public amenities like parks and public transportation, and shopping districts are especially attractive to renters. What type of property are you interested in buying? Condominiums can be a good choice for first-time investors. But they appreciate more slowly and command smaller rents. Single-family homes tend to attract longer term renters.