Latest trends show affordable home prices outstripping incomes, though interest rates still low for now

Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Have you been thinking about buying a new home? The inventory of affordable properties may have passed you by.

Prices are rising at a record pace, but incomes are not keeping up. The demand for new homes during the pandemic has made this a seller’s market with a shortage of choices for prospective purchasers.

Data show the biggest impact of this trend is hurting first-time home buyers. Typically buyers spend about 29% of their incomes on a mortgage, but with rising prices, that is now up to 32%.

“The buyers look at the property and they love it and they want to make an offer, but they’re like, ‘Can I think about it for a day or two?’ There is no thinking about it. It’s created urgency to buy. It is an incredible time to sell — a great time to buy due to the interest rates,” said Cathy Wantz, principal with Real Estate Today.

While Wantz says that interest rates are still low — which works in favor of the buyer — predictions for higher inflation may make this a short-lived situation for buyers.

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