According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the pandemic hasn’t hurt home prices. In fact, at least for the first quarter of 2020, it has been quite the opposite.
The NAR’s most recent report found that the median price for a single-family home has increased in 96 percent of the nation’s housing markets. The average cost of a single-family home during the first quarter of the year was $274,600, a 7.7 percent jump from the same period in 2019. The highest home price increases were found in the Northeast, with the average price jumping by almost 10 percent. Two reasons why housing prices are climbing is lack of supply and record-low mortgage rates. The average rate for a 30-year mortgage during the first quarter was 3.57 percent, down 4.62 percent compared to one year ago.
While the pricing increase is notable, it doesn’t mean it’s going to last. “The first quarter price jumps mostly reflect conditions prior to the coronavirus outbreak and show the strength of the housing demand prior to the pandemic,” explained NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, in a statement.
If the sky high prices are dissuading you from buying a house, don’t be overly concerned. It’s way too early to know exactly how the pandemic will impact the housing market. If prices aren’t to your liking, it’s not a bad idea to exercise some patience. While you wait to see how things shake out, make sure your credit score is as high as possible. By doing so, when you do decide to start house shopping, you’ll qualify for a low mortgage rate. Those savings will likely make you happy you waited.