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Could This Be the Best Time to Buy a House in Washington?

Summary: With mortgage rates near their lowest point of the year, and the possibility for continued home-price appreciation over the coming months, is now the best time to buy a house in Washington State?

Mortgage rates continue on their downtrend while home prices are expected to continue to rise in Washington State. Is now the right time for you to get into the real estate market?

Is It the Best Time to Buy a House in Washington?

If you live in Washington and have been considering the purchase of a home, you probably already know that house values are on the rise. That’s been the big news story of the last couple of years. Home prices across Washington State have risen steadily, with double-digit gains in some cities during the last 12 months alone.

And the trend is expected to continue. In fact, the housing market in Washington State is hot right now, and prices are still on an uptrend.

But mortgage rates recently dropped to their lowest point of the year recently, which will likely attract more buyers into the real estate market. When you combine this with the prospect of rising house prices, an argument could be made that now is the best time to buy a house in Washington.

Home Prices Still Rising Due to Scant Inventory

According to real estate research firm Zillow, home values across the state are still rising steadily. More specifically, Washington home values have increased 4.8% over the past 12 months and are expected to rise 2.8% over the next year.

This is the result of high demand and limited inventory, and these conditions will probably continue to put upward pressure on home prices through 2019 and into 2020.

So, for those would-be home buyers who are on the fence about making a purchase, now might be the best time to buy a house in Washington. Delaying your purchase plans could reduce your buying power, as prices continue to climb.

Current Washington Mortgage Rates Nov, 20, Wed, 2019

Mortgage Rates Hit a Year-To-Date Low in September

The prospect of continued home-price appreciation, in and of itself, is a pretty good reason to buy sooner rather than later. And recent mortgage rate trends give buyers yet another reason to move forward.

On September 5, Freddie Mac published the latest results of its weekly survey of the mortgage industry. And the news was good for home buyers shopping for a mortgage loan.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan dropped to its lowest point of the year this week, landing at 3.49%. Freddie Mac published the chart below, showing the average mortgage rates across three different loan categories going back a year or so.

Mortgage rate averages for the last year. Source: Freddie Mac PMMS

The current rates are as follows:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate: 3.69%
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rate: 3.15%
  • 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage rate: 3.35%

Mortgage Rates Hit a Year-To-Date Low in September

Rent prices across Washington State have risen steadily, putting the squeeze on renters and stretching their budgets. Right now, the average rent price in Washington State is $2,100, which is nearly $100 more than the rent price the same time last year. These year-over-year increases in rent prices are taking place among cities nationwide. But this trend is visible across the entire state.

While home prices in Washington have also risen, there are some clear advantages to buying a house versus renting.

For one thing, you have more control over your monthly housing costs. A home buyer in Washington can choose a fixed-rate mortgage that will carry the same interest rate for the entire repayment term (in most cases). Rents, on the other hand, tend to rise steadily over time.

So, is now the best time to buy a house in Washington?

This is a question you must answer for yourself, through a combination of budgeting and soul-searching. But from a cost perspective, now could be a good time to buy. Mortgage rates are at their lowest point of the year, but we don’t know how long they will stay at that level. And there is a very good chance that home prices in the state will continue to rise.

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Need a mortgage loan? Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region that includes Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions. Last Updated: Oct 17, 2019 @ 12:25 pm

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