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Housing Facts

Fun housing facts

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While doing research for presenting 15 Ways to Grow Your Business at the amazing assembly of real estate agents at the Century 21 Global Conference held in Las Vegas this month, I wanted a snapshot of what was going on in the housing market.

Mary’s summary: Houses are still cheap and interest rates are low. Buy now.

Why? Interest rates, while low now, are going to increase in the next year, according to Fed Chair Janet Yellen yesterday as the Fed stopping trying to stimulate the economy. Housing prices are still at low bargain prices. So if you are on the fence, find a good realtor and start looking.

Houses are cheap? I thought the market was picking up?

Yes. Home prices in the US increased nationwide by 10.9% in 2013, increasing the average home sales price by $30,000 up to $215,000, so if you were a seller, that was positive.

Sellers in 2013 also saw homes selling quickly.

For 2014 prices are still increasing, but prices will probably increase more slowly.

Buyers in 2013 tried to take advantage of relatively affordable home prices and low interest rates. Despite the increase in home sale prices in 2013, prices are still 31.5% below their 2006 peak.

Buyers are still finding good deals, and as the market swings upward, houses will become more expensive.

Families are also spending, as a percentage, less of their total household income on their mortgages. In 2006, the average family allocated 23.5% of their income to pay their house payments, and in 2013 it was just 15.6%.

Mary is grateful to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Report of January 2014 for some of these statistics.

Mary’s commentary is merely her opinion, and she strongly recommends that you consult an accountant, a realtor, a banker, your employer, your spouse, and your own crystal ball to see if now is the right time to jump into home ownership.

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