The Wall Street Journal this morning had one of the most positive articles about the current real estate market that I've seen in a long time. They said that, if you take out foreclosures, the real estate prices are really off less than 1 percent from a year ago, suggesting that we are at the bottom of the market. In addition, mortgage rates are near a 50-year low, and the ratio of housing prices to income is over 20 percent better than the fifteen-year average. Although household formation rates have fallen recently, the aging of the baby boomers portends an uptick in home purchases and second home acquisitions over the next number of years. They even went on to say that most people still want to own homes, even discounting or ignoring the investment value, because of control over their environment and access to schools and other amenities. They predict that prices will start to climb soon.
All of this seems to indicate that now is the time to buy. It never pays to try to find the low point at its exact nadir. All indications say that we are now close to that point, and therefore buyers should be rushing out to buy. The article does talk about the new difficulties in qualifying for and obtaining mortgages, but there are many other people who simply aren't buying because they are worried about the future value of their investment. Do those people not worry about the stock market? The bond market? The value of art and antiques? In fact, do they sleep at all?
It seems clear that we need to continue to convince buyers that the time to act is soon. If not today, then later this week or month!