bus 150x150 Consumer Confidence is Driving the Bus

It’s all about consumer confidence.  If you didn’t think that American nerves are rattled by the recession, continued high unemployment figures and the recent Capitol Hill squabbling, you don’t have to look further than two recent reports involving housing for proof.

We are a skittish nation right now.

The National Association of Realtors reported  that the number of existing homes sold in July was down 3.5 percent from June.   

And the median price was $174,000 in July which is down 4.4 percent from a year ago.  For buyers that is good news.  And there is more good news.

Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage report showed that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.15 percent, the lowest EVER.

Let’s review: prices are down and mortgage rates are the best ever.  Sounds like a smart time to buy a home.  So what’s wrong?  Why aren’t people buying?

I firmly believe it’s those two words – “consumer confidence” – that is driving the economic bus right now.

I have said before and I’ll say it again.  For those with a job and financial viability, today is the smartest time in my 36 years in real estate to buy a home.

Along with the already mentioned lower prices and interest rates, most towns have quite a few homes to choose from.  And, don’t forget, affordability levels are near at their highest levels ever.

Yet many are choosing to remain renters.  The National Association of Realtors recently reported there  were 16 million renters who could afford to buy a home, up from 11 million in 2000. 

And for those who aren’t ready to own, are unsure of their job status and/or not sure they want to remain in a home for at least a few years, renting is a great option.  After all, home ownership is not for everyone.

But for those who are considering buying a home, do some soul searching and decide if it’s only confidence in the economy – or lack thereof – that’s holding you back.

Photo courtesy:  Google images punkrawker4783