Thursday December 8, 2016
Homebuyers have been reaping rewards of a struggling economy since the recession. Housing prices and interest rates dropped to historic lows in 2009, and have not fully recovered in the years that followed.
Like all good things—if you’re a homebuyer, that is—the bargain is coming to an end.
At this writing, the rate for a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage is 4.01%. Three months ago, it was 3.579%. On the plus side, the current rate matches where we were in January 2016. We had a dip this year, but it’s not expected to happen again.
When you compare these numbers with the significantly higher rates in the early 2000s (approximately 6.3%), does this small change make enough difference to push the procrastinators off the fence?
Let’s look at the price of procrastination as mortgage rates are rising.
Purchase price: $295,000
At 3.6% $1,341 per month
At 4.6% $1,512 per month
Over the life of the loan, paying one percent more for your mortgage will cost you an additional $61,560.
Housing prices are rising. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index posted a 6% increase in the past twelve months.
Based on the above scenario, you’ll spend $171 every month because you decided to wait. Are you getting more value? No. In fact, while you’re waiting, the price of your new home is increasing, along with the mortgage rate. That home you could have bought for $295,000 is probably going to cost you about $312,000 in six months or so.
If you don’t mind spending more money for a home, you can continue to wait, but be prepared to tack on the price of procrastination to your budget.