By Shelley Sakala, Realtor
In this month’s real estate column, local realtor Shelley Sakala addresses a reader’s concern about conflicting headlines about real estate. Phoenix resident Amanda asks, “I keep seeing headlines about real estate, and they’re not good. Interest rates are up. Inventory is down. Did I miss the boat for buying a house? Did I miss the boat for selling my house?”
THE EXPERT’s ANSWER
Good news, no boats have been missed! I’ve seen those same headlines. Lots of doomsayers and naysayers talking about interest rates rising, bubbles bursting, and buyers disappearing. Just remember that headlines are designed to grab your attention, so you’ll click on the article. Truth can be stretched, exaggerated, and filled with conjecture. So, allow me to add some important perspective to the conversation.
For home buyers…
Yes, interest rates have gone up. Yes, this affects mortgage payments. I can’t tell you whether a home is “affordable” (That’s a matter of personal finances). What I can say is that even though rates have gone up, they’re not what people would call “outrageous.” We’re coming off a period of historically low interest rates, so any increase in rates will be noticeable. A home in your price range today will have roughly the same mortgage payment as a similarly priced home pre-Covid. If you still have an opportunity to get into a home with a mortgage rate in the low, single digits, you’re in good shape. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a 14% home mortgage rate. Yikes!
For home sellers…
Yes, the number of buyers bidding on homes have gone down since the beginning of the year. We saw homes selling in record time for record sums, and sellers couldn’t wait to get in on the action. The local real estate market isn’t quite the same these days, but demand is still strong. Remember that Arizona has done nothing but grow since the pandemic. Our state leads the country in nearly every category of growth, including population, jobs, rent, and new employers. So long as Arizona remains an attractive place to live and work, there will be people in need of a place to live. You might not have 20 bidders fighting over your house, but you’ll still have two or three. And all it takes is one!
Shelley Sakala is a local realtor and owner of The Sakala Group Real Estate. Learn more at shelleysakala.com.