Real Estate March 15, 2011

For Buyers it’s a Perfect Storm

With the housing affordability index at an all-time high, home prices down 30%, and interest rates holding at historic lows, a perfect storm has brewed for buyers entering the real estate market.

In January the National Housing Affordability Index rose to an all-time record high of 191. This means that a family earning the median income has 191% of the income needed to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have averaged at or below 5 percent in every week but one this year, contributing to the record home affordability.

So how much longer can a buyer’s market last in Santa Barbara? In the last 30 days the number of properties sold is up 38% and total sales dollar volume is up 73% over the same period last year. Many buyers are making it a point to get in while the getting’s good because no one knows for sure what’s around the corner. Historically Santa Barbara tends to lead other areas with regard to upcoming real estate market trends.