I know what you're thinking:
Oh yeah, right. Real estate agents always say it's a good time to buy (or a good time to sell if you're a home owner).
But it's true. Now really is a good time to buy and here are three reasons why you should believe me:
1. Interest rates are still low, even after the Fed's recent rate hike, but economists are warning that mortgage rates should rise a quarter of a point with the Fed's next increase (likely in December). The consensus among economists is that by this time next year the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage will be between 4.9% and 5.2%, a full point higher than it is right now.
That may not sound like much, but it will have an impact on what you can buy, assuming you will get a mortgage. For every one percentage point that mortgage rates go up, you lose 10% of your purchasing power. In other words, if you can afford to buy a house worth $800,000 today, next year you may find that you can only afford a $720,000 home, if rates rise as predicted.
2. There is plenty of inventory here on the North Shore, particularly in the higher price ranges and/or in the northernmost villages (Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highland Park). For example, while there are only 126 single-family homes for sale in Evanston (less than a two month supply), there are 316 in Lake Forest (a nine month supply). If you don't mind the trek to Lake Forest you can get a lovely home on a larger piece of property than you can in closer-in (and more popular) Evanston or Wilmette.
3. Prices are coming down, as desperate sellers chase the few buyers that are out looking this time of year. July and August are normally dead months for real estate. Most buyers who wanted to move into their new house before school starts have already bought. If you don't have to worry about the school year calendar you can snag a house at a great value.
And if you are shopping in the upper brackets you can get an even better deal. There are 96 homes over $3,000,000 on the North Shore, which equates to a 19 month supply. So much supply chasing too little demand is putting tremendous pressure on prices, and price reductions of $400,000 to $500,000 are not uncommon. If you're lucky enough to be in this price bracket you can search for a luxury home here.
If you would like to schedule a buyer consultation with the Come Home North Shore team, call us at 847-881-6657.
Are you relocating to Chicago's North Shore? We'd love to familiarize you with the area and help you find the perfect home for your family. Ask me about our "Tour of the Shore." Whether you're looking for new construction or an existing home, we'd be happy to guide you through the process.