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Rates Are Climbing: Is Now the Time to Buy That House in Washington?

Are you thinking about buying a home in Washington in 2018? Wondering if you should by now or wait until 2019? Here are some recent trends that might create a sense of urgency for you.

Average mortgage rates in the U.S. recently rose to their highest point in over four years, according to Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, home prices across the state of Washington continue to rise. So it seems likely that home buyers who postpone their purchases until later this year, or next, could encounter higher housing costs.

Mortgage Rates Hit a 4-Year High in April 2018

On April 26, Freddie Mac reported the results of its latest weekly survey of the mortgage industry. This long-running survey goes out to mortgage lenders operating all across the country, so it offers useful insight into current lending trends.

In its latest survey, the company reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan rose to 4.58% for the week ending on April 26, 2018. That’s the highest it has been (to date) since August 2013.

Granted, rates can vary from one borrower to the next due to a number of factors. But the overall trend here is that average mortgage rates in Washington and nationwide have risen quite a bit over the last four months.

This is an important trend to watch for those who are planning to buy a home in Washington in 2018. Obviously, there is no way to predict future mortgage rates with complete accuracy. But most economists are forecasting a gradual rise over the coming months.

So if you’re on the fence about buying a house in Washington, and wondering if it’s better to buy now or later, you have some fresh new data to help you decide!

Inventory Shortage Boosting Home Values

As if the threat of rising rates wasn’t enough to create a sense of urgency, home buyers are also encountering higher house prices in Washington State.

According to Zillow, the statewide median home price reached $367,769 as of April 2018. That’s an increase of around 11% from the same period last year. While annual home-price appreciation has slowed a bit, house values in the state are expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future.

As we wrote in a March 31st blog post, limited inventory is putting upward pressure on home prices within housing markets across the state of Washington. In most cities, there aren’t enough homes for sale to satisfy the demand from buyers. This supply-and-demand imbalance is creating fierce competition and boosting house values.

So, is now a good time to buy a house in Washington? Or should you wait until later this year?

This is the kind of question that requires a lot of soul-searching. You have to consider everything from your lifestyle to your household budget. But from a market perspective, it seems that now could be a good time to buy a house in Washington — before housing costs climb higher.

Disclaimer: This article includes data and trends relating to the mortgage and housing market in the U.S. This information was provided by third parties not associated with our company. We have compiled this information as a service to our blog readers.

Have mortgage questions? Sammamish Mortgage has been serving borrowers across the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. We offer competitive rates on a variety of mortgage products. Please contact us if you have financing-related questions.

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