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What homebuyers can expect in 2013

Is now a good time to be in the real estate market? Here are some thoughts from experts:

Rising home prices
Kiplinger, a respected financial forecast company, predicts that housing prices will increase by a modest 1% to 2%. (1) However, Clear Capital, which provides data and solutions for real estate asset valuation, predicts prices will increase by up to 5%. Who is right? It’s too soon to say, but most market observers agree prices are on the rise. Members thinking about buying a home should act soon.

Rising mortgage rates
The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts that mortgage interest rates will remain below 4% (based on 30-year fixed) for the first half of 2013, but could climb to 4.4% by year-end. (2) This is only a prediction, but it’s from an informed source, so delaying a purchase could be costly. (2)

Foreclosure market tighter
Federal agencies have been selling foreclosed properties in bulk to investors who, instead of foreclosing, agree to work out new purchase agreements or maintain the homes as rentals. This means fewer foreclosure bargains.

More first-time buyers
The National Association of Realtors reports that in November 2011, 37 percent of homebuyers were first-timers. In November 2012, that number was 39 percent. (3) This indicates increased confidence among new buyers, and possibly increased competition for available housing.

Easier qualifying
Last year, most buyers needed a FICO score of 760. (4) That figure should drop as more qualified buyers come into the market and competition for loans increases.

In general, with home prices and mortgage rates expected to rise, it may be better to act now than wait. Visit our Online Mortgage Center to get started.

Questions? Just give us a call at 877.670.5860 opt 5. Our friendly, knowledgeable real estate staff can help you take advantage of today’s market conditions.

1)Kiplinger.com, January 2013. 2)As reported on Bankrate.com. 3)2012 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.  4)Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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