By Tim McLaughlin
According to a report released by CNN this past week, it may be the best time to buy a house in more than four years.
Valuations on home prices (the difference between what a home should cost and its actual price) are the lowest they've been since 2004, according to the report.
The Cleveland-based bank National City Corp, together with financial analysis firm Global Insight, revealed Tuesday that more than 88% of the 330 housing markets surveyed showed improved affordability during the last three months of 2007.
"Housing valuations are almost back to long-term norms," said National City's chief economist, Richard DeKaser. He called current affordability "the best in the past four years."
The report compares actual median home prices with what the authors determine are proper home values based on population density, relative income levels and interest rates, as well as historically observed market premiums or discounts, to determine whether markets are over or under valued. The report also factors in market intangibles that make some areas more desirable places to live, and more expensive.
The survey covered home valuations during the last three months of 2007, but DeKaser pointed out there's reason to believe that valuations are even more favorable for buyers today Interest rates, although they have inched up lately, have been steady or lower compared to late last year, and are certainly lower than historical norms.. There have even been wage gains; personal income rose 0.5% in December.
Takeaways: With the spring market upon us, economists and industry experts appear to be in agreement regarding the current value proposition regarding residential real estate and the strength in buying opportunities vs. any point in the foreseeable past. The home of your dreams in well within reach and more obtainable today than ever before. Fair market prices, affordable interest rates, and the most knowledgeable team of financial consultants can make that dream a reality. At Weichert Financial, with an array of product options and the expertise to assist, we are here to help. What can we do for you? It pays to ask.
Tim McLaughlin is senior vice president of secondary marketing for Weichert Financial Services.