We wish we had a crystal ball and could answer that question. As of right now, we only know that it's a good time to buy a home because interest rates are unbelievably low.
A home mortgage for $200,000 would have carried a principal and interest payment of $1,264 when rates were at 6.5% just a few short years ago. Now, with rates hovering around 4%, that payment would be only about $955. And some borrowers are finding even lower rates.
Those who stay in their homes for the long term will be smiling broadly a few years from now, when their incomes have risen and their house payments are still low.
Will prices drop again? Will they go up? No one knows. But in our opinion, if you're in a home and plan to stay, fluctuations in the market are unimportant.
What is important is that you love the home and the monthly payment fits comfortably within your budget.
We think of long term home ownership like we think of Grandma's antique silver service. It doesn't really matter what it is worth in the marketplace from one month to the next, because it is not for sale.
Whether you're buying or selling – or have already done so – I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013.
Call me any time you need my help – and any time you just want to talk real estate. Feel free to ask a question about your neighborhood values, the market here in Vancouver, or anything else related to real estate. In fact, call if you'd just like to say "Hi."
All the best in 2013,