The nation's housing sector is going through a rough patch – bad news for current homeowners but a potential opportunity for people looking to stop renting or relocate.
Since the homebuyer tax credit expired in April, the housing market has been floundering. Sales of new and existing homes slumped after the credit expired – and with so many people out of work or fearing for their job security, demand for homes is proving soft.
But there are opportunities to be had for motivated buyers.
According to real-estate listings site Trulia.com, 26 percent of homes had their prices reduced in August. In some markets, price cuts were even more common: In Minneapolis, for example, 43 percent of houses on the market had their prices slashed.
And mortgage rates are near all-time lows. The Mortgage Bankers Association, an industry group, reports Wednesday that the average 30-year fixed-rate home loan has a rate of just 4.44 percent. Fifteen-year mortgage rates are even cheaper, averaging 3.88 percent.
For a young person, now could be a great time to buy a house – although waiting could work out well, too. Moody's Investors Service said this week that it doesn't expect home prices to bottom until the third quarter of 2011.