When most of us begin searching for a home, we naturally
start by looking at the price. It’s important, however, to closely consider
what else impacts the purchase. It’s not just the price of the house that
matters, but the overall cost in the long run. Today, that’s largely impacted
by low mortgage rates. Low rates are actually making homes more affordable now
than at any time since 2016, and here’s why.
Today’s low rates are off-setting rising home prices because
it’s less expensive to borrow money. In essence, purchasing a home while
mortgage rates are this low may save you significantly over the life of your
Taking a look at the graph below with data sourced from the
National Association of Realtors (NAR), the higher the bars rise, the more
affordable homes are. The orange bars represent the period of time when homes
were most affordable, but that’s also reflective of when the housing bubble
burst. At that time, distressed properties, like foreclosures and short sales,
dominated the market. That’s a drastically different environment than what we
have in the housing market now.
The green bar represents today’s market. It shows that homes
truly are more affordable than they have been in years, and much more so than
they were in the normal market that led up to the housing crash. Low mortgage
rates are a big differentiator driving this affordability.
What are the experts saying about affordability?
Experts agree that this unique moment in time is making
homes incredibly affordable for buyers.
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR:
“Although housing prices have consistently moved higher,
when the favorable mortgage rates are factored in, an overall home purchase was
more affordable in 2020’s second quarter compared to one year ago.”
Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets, Quicken Loans:
“No matter what you’re looking for, this is a great time
to buy since the current low interest rates can stretch your spending power.”
Mortgage News Daily:
“Those shopping for a home can afford 10 percent more
home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment
unchanged. This translates into nearly $32,000 more buying power.”
“Homeowners are the clear winners. Low mortgage rates mean
the cost of owning is at historically low levels and who gains all the benefits
of strong house price appreciation? Homeowners.”
When purchasing a home, it’s important to think about the
overall cost, not just the price of the house. Homes on your wish list may be
more affordable today than you think. Let’s connect to discuss how
affordability plays a role in our local market, and your long-term