This is Part II of a 3-part series. Stay tuned for Part II!
Part 2 – Mortgages, Prices and Interest Rates
While there is hope that the government’s Making Home Affordable Program for loan modifications will help, the current numbers indicate that of the 3 million people that requested help in 2009 only 31,000 received permanent modifications. In short, at this time the program is doing little to stabilize home ownership.
While we don’t want our clients and friends to panic and overreact, we do want to make sure that all of our Colorado Landmark listings are priced correctly for today’s market. If you want or need to sell your home, waiting out the market is NOT the right strategy. Ken Hotard, senior vice president of the Boulder Area Realtor Association, thinks that the worst is likely over, but home sellers cannot expect a quick recovery. “Jobs are still a problem,” he said. “Until we see job growth there will be no significant recover in the housing market.” Phyllis Resnick, lead economist for the Center for Colorado’s Economic Future, projects that unemployment in Boulder-Broomfield will hit 7.1% this year and “It’s going to take us close to five years to recover,” to pre-decline levels. Boulder Valley’s high-end real estate market (homes priced over $1.0M) will continue to lag behind in 2010.
On January 8, 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported on the Fed’s plan to stop buying mortgages by the end of March 2010. The article quoted Ronald Temple, portfolio manager at Lazard Asset Management, who sees mortgage rates rising by a percentage point when the Fed stops buying. A withdrawal of government support, combined with high unemployment and rising mortgage foreclosures, could push home prices down 20% he said. What does that mean for you as a homeowner? If you are waiting for the market to improve, don’t hold your breath, unless you can hold it for about 4 years! Price your home to sell now, before home prices slide any further.
All this being said, real estate continues to be one of the best long term investments out performing the Dow, S & P, and the Nasdaq over the past 10 years. We are encouraging our clients to buy now before interest rates spike up, and do so quickly.
Stay tuned for Part III!