A Bit of Relief for Homebuyers

If you've been thinking about purchasing a new home, odds are you may have put your plans on hold in the face of rising mortgage rates. However, according to recent research, relief may be in sight.

According to the latest Zillow® Market Report, a combination of declining home values and lower mortgage rates brought the monthly mortgage payment on a typical U.S. home down by about $100.

While monthly mortgage costs are still up year over year, U.S. home values are ticking down, slightly easing the affordability challenge for buyers. The typical U.S. home is worth $357,733, 0.2% less than in October and down 0.5% from a peak in June, according to the report. Meanwhile, mortgage rates falling in November brought monthly costs down for the first time since July, and for only the second time in the past 19 months. While it may still be a while before we see significant improvement, November's news is a positive sign that affordability may at least stabilize in 2023, good news for household budgets and those looking to purchase a home in the months ahead. 

"The two big questions are whether mortgage rates will continue to decline, and whether that will be enough to bring buyers back in time for the spring selling season," said Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker. "In the meantime, those on the prowl for a house will benefit from motivated sellers, unusual bargains and a welcome lack of competition."

Beyond the slight decline in mortgage costs, reduced activity and competition in the market brought a bit more good news to those still on the hunt for a house or those who are considering jumping in. Total inventory is up 7% year over year, the largest increase since at least the start of 2018. Listings' median time on market before going pending is now 22 days—twice as long as last November and a far cry from the six days in March and April at the peak of the housing frenzy.

If you're considering buying or selling, a local real estate expert can help you separate fact from fiction, and educate you on how the national headlines about the market are playing out in your area. 

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