But if you need a home now — and can handle the roller coaster — the world seems a little brighter when you squint. Yes, your monthly payments will be higher than they would have been if you had purchased a few months ago. But the low rates of 2020 and 2021 weren’t quite your friend: They fueled a rampant train of spiraling house prices, pushing the boundaries of affordability. Soon buyers may be in a better position than they have been in a long time.
Mr Miller, who said he was “pleased” to see rates rise, stressed that “5% mortgage rates are not a bad thing in terms of sustainable housing markets”.
And remember: rates fluctuate. Unlike the price you pay for a house, which is permanent, the mortgage rate is not. Or, as Mr. Sharga put it, you “date the rate, but marry the house”.
Unsurprisingly, estate agents, who make their income from selling homes, are optimistic about buying now, arguing that for the first time in a long time buyers could get a deal.
“You have to be a bit of a cowgirl,” said Bess Freedman, chief executive of Brown Harris Stevens, who predicted in her second-quarter market report that Manhattan was turning to a buyer’s market. While one buyer might be scared off by the volatility, another “may come in and say, ‘You know what, there’s a hell of an opportunity right now. I have the money, I’m going in, I’m going to negotiate, I’m going to get a good price.
As the market cools, it could return to something akin to pre-pandemic normal, with homes taking a few months to sell and prices gradually rising. Buyers can start making a few reasonable requests — for appraisals, inspections, and mortgage contingencies. And as stocks rise, they may even be able to compare a few options before making a decision.