Where to buy right now? The answer is not what the blaring good news headlines of the past six months would have you believe. A housing rebound is in full swing, but it is very uneven, with some towns on a roller-coaster ride to ever higher prices and many other cities seemingly stuck in neutral, with slim price bumps to show for the past year.
The other fact: Parse the numbers and they clearly point to five towns that belong on any house shopper's list.
First, however, know this: Many house markets are slowing as three factors come into play. Recent price jumps may mean bargains are fewer and so are buyers. In most cities, the inventory of foreclosed homes has dwindled, and the thinking is that there won't be a fresh dump of foreclosures anytime soon. Factor three: mortgage interest rates are edging up. 30-year fixed rate loans are going out on average around 4.5%, and that is up from 3.31% in November.
So contracts to buy previously owned homes actually fell 1.3% last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Mortgage loan applications have tumbled 14% since May, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Does this mean it's no longer a good time to buy? Absolutely not. In the right cities it may be an even better time to buy, because the herd has thinned.
[Think now is the right time to buy? Click to compare interest rates from lenders in your area now.]
You want names? Read on. | By Robert McGarvey, MainStreet.com