As we head into 2012’s halfway mark, local home sales numbers have a great shot at bettering those posted a year ago. The combination of continuing low-interest rates and decreased prices continue to extend the ideal scenario for buyers.
Many are hedging their bets with the potential of rising interest rates looming and buying now. A few, however, think prices may hit another decline and still wait on the sidelines.
The risk they face, if they truly want to become homeowners, is that a one percent increase in interest rates quickly erases a relatively moderate price drop. Payments at a higher interest rate actually are more costly than buying the same house at a higher price with a lower loan rate. The increased interest also may impact the ability to qualify for the desired loan.
One more issue we’ve mentioned in the past is that, right now, there are more interested buyers than there are quality homes on the market, making it more of a sellers’ market than many realize.
Sales are doing relatively well. Rossmoor saw 88 sales in 2011 and currently is showing 46 closings with an additional 19 in escrow. Six are above $1,00,000. By comparison, back in the 2006 heyday there were 27 sales over a million with three of those over $2,000,000.
Los Alamitos finds itself significantly ahead of 2011 with 21 closed sales and nine in escrow against 27 completed transfers a year ago.
Seal Beach is also well ahead of 2011’s pace with 46 sales already finalized and 26 waiting in the wings in escrow. Last year saw a total of 100 transactions. Of the current totals, 14 closings have been tallied in College Park East and four in College Park West.
With all that said, those thinking of buying should contact their lenders to get pre-qualified or, better yet, pre-approved for a loan and then search for homes in the price range they find comfortable.
Here’s a helpful hint: an experienced realtor can save buyers a lot of time and effort, and, quite often, money.