Is it a good time to buy a house? The summer rush is over, mortgage rates are super low, and the job market is strong, leading the Federal Reserve to proclaim that the housing market is the economy’s “bright spot.”
So, in a word, Yes!
“Housing activity indicators displayed further gradual improvement in August,” the report said. “Single-family housing starts and permits have rebounded over the past three months. New and existing home sales rose in August. A still-strong labor market and low mortgage rates could continue to provide support to housing.”
The report noted today’s low mortgage rates, which create greater affordability and buying power for those looking to purchase a home. It pointed to “August’s 7.1% gain in new-home sales to 713,000 at a seasonally adjusted and annualized pace, which was 18% above the year-earlier month,” said HousingWire. “And, the Fed cited the 1.2% gain in existing home sales in August that put the sales pace 2.9% above a year earlier.”
Homebuilding was also a focus of the report, thanks to housing starts that are up 12.3%, reaching their highest point in more than a dozen years.
“Over the last three months, single-family housing starts and permits have rebounded,” said Realtor Magazine. “New home sales gained 7.1% in August month over month and are 18% higher than a year earlier. Homebuilding has also seen some increases, surging 12.3% in August to reach the highest level since June 2007, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. A good portion of that has been in the multifamily sector, which includes apartments.”
According to the report, the combination of a strong labor market and favorable mortgage rates should continue to keep the housing market in positive territory. However, “The report did note the shortage of homes for sale as one major hurdle facing the housing market that could limit its continued growth,” said Realtor.
The report was partially based on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s U.S. Economy in a Snapshot, a monthly look at national economic factors.