By Angela Colley
NEW YORK (MoneyTalksNews)The housing market is on the upswing in many parts of the country and, for many prospective homeowners, now is a great time to buy. Are you ready?
If you've been sitting on the sidelines of the housing market but your ultimate goal is to own a home, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has a few words for you:
When it comes to buying or refinancing a house, I've got some advice. Do it. And do it soon. I can't say what's going to happen in next few months. But over the next few years, odds are home prices with increase, and so will interest rates. If you don't buy now, one day you'll look back and wish you had.
In the video below, Stacy explains why now is the time to buy. Check it out, then read on for more information.
Why buy: Prices have seen their lows
It's no secret the nationwide housing market took a dive during the Great Recession, with prices plunging and Americans walking away from, or losing, their homes.
Fast-forward to today: Pent-up demand, decreased supply and an improving economy are showing up as higher home prices. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, housing prices nationwide were 10.2 percent higher in the first quarter than they were in the first quarter of 2012. And prices in some of the hardest-hit and most active markets jumped even more. Phoenix saw a 22.5 percent increase, followed by San Francisco with 22.2 percent, and Las Vegas with 20.6 percent.
While every real estate market is local and it's unlikely the recovery will continue at such a blistering pace, it's safe to say the bottom in housing prices is behind us.
Another buy signal is the cost to own vs. rent. Trulia found it's cheaper to buy than rent in many markets. For example, they say it's 58 percent cheaper to buy in my hometown of New Orleans, assuming a 3.5 percent mortgage rate. In Detroit, it's 70 percent cheaper to buy than rent. Statistics like these suggest more demand on the horizon.