Trying to time the market can be extremely difficult. It’s a very tricky thing to do. Most people wait too long until the market is well on its way back to normal and miss out on the best deals. Two of the best indicators for the real estate market are the sales figures for existing home sales and new construction home sales. The July numbers for both indicators were very positive, which means that a housing recovery might already be well under way.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales were up 2.3% in July from the previous month and 10.4% better than July of 2011. The numbers were some of the best yet in this category, and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that mortgage interest rates have been at record lows this year while rents have been rising at faster rates. Combined, these factors are helping to unleash a pent-up demand. He also added that the market is still constrained due to unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, and that housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions.
On Thursday, new home sales were reported by the Census Bureau. The numbers were very positive, as sales were up 3.6% from June and up a whopping 25.3% from July 2011. Many believe that the spike is due to builders gaining confidence and building new developments at great prices. Numbers like these will encourage more builders to start their projects as they see demand rising.
So is now the best time to buy? It all depends. Barbara Corcoran was recently quoted as saying that the best time to buy was about November of 2011. Prices have risen in many markets since then, but not by much. Now is still a great time to buy. As sales numbers continue to increase, the window of opportunity to get the best deals in town will continue to decrease. If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait, call your local real estate professional.