Back in October, I wrote an entry for this column about the “harmonic convergence” in the real estate market that made it a great time to either buy or sell. The good time to buy was caused by some of the lowest mortgage interest rates in years, which significantly extended buying power for purchasers. (At the time, 30-year fixed rate mortgages were running at about 3.60 percent.) The great time to sell was caused by the lowest inventory in years of homes for sale, which caused the prices of houses to rise.
In the eight months since I wrote that column, interest rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages have fluctuated between 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent and the average sold home price in D.C. has increased by 14.5 percent to $608,909. There are signs that we will see increases both in mortgage rates and home prices through at least the end of 2013, if not beyond.
Last week’s mortgage rates climbed to a 14-month high of 4.10 percent (before falling slightly), and the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts rates of 4.40 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages by the end of 2013. Many housing experts looking at the short supply of homes predict that it will last for at least the next three years, which will keep home prices high and rising.
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