Jun 25, 2020 / Mortgages

Is now a good time to buy a home?

As the economy begins to rebound and life starts to get back to normal, many people are still wondering whether now is a good time to buy a home. The short answer is yes. Both 30-year mortgage rates and 15-year mortgage rates are at all-time lows with 30-year rates as low as 2.625% and 15-year rates as low as 2.50%. That makes buying a home a much more appealing and affordable investment. The long answer, however, is much more nuanced and requires asking a few other questions about the current market and your own personal financial outlook.

What does the housing market look like?

Many homeowners pushed pause on their plans to sell their homes in March and April. According to Realtor.com, new home listings were down 44% in April, compared to just a year ago. That equated to about 189,000 fewer homes on the market. But supply isn’t the only thing that changed. Demand for homes went down too. According to MarketWatch, only half of Americans felt it was a good time to buy a home at the beginning of the pandemic.

Fast forward to June, and demand is now above pre-pandemic levels and listings are moving quickly. All of this means that home prices haven’t changed much. But some experts believe home prices will start to rise in the coming months. This, coupled with the increase in online home-buying traffic, suggests continued consumer interest, and that there may be a buying surge in the coming weeks and months. If you’re wondering whether now is a good time to buy a home, these forecasts are very encouraging.

How do you feel about your personal financial outlook?

While this is a personal question that involves careful consideration of your individual and family finances, there are some objective factors to consider. Like much of the country, unemployment claims in Utah have been significant over the past few months. But there are indications that things are beginning to normalize. According to KSL, unemployment claims in Utah were down 12% last week. And the number of people on unemployment in Utah has gone down for six consecutive weeks.

Of course, local employment figures are just one factor to consider when determining financial stability. Other factors include personal savings, job security, and industry outlook in your particular field of employment. It’s also a good idea to run some numbers to see what you feel you can afford. As you do so, take into account the aforementioned 30- and 15-year mortgage rates, purchase price, personal needs, location, and current debt-to-income ratio.

If you’re wondering whether now is a good time to buy a home, talk to one of our mortgage specialists. We can help you evaluate all of the above factors, answer all your homebuyer questions, give you a good idea about what you can afford, and help you decide whether now is the right time to buy for you.