Now is the time to buy, experts say

November 04, 1990|By Copley News Service

The current real estate market may be a "window of opportunity" for buyers.

There has been much talk about an increasingly depressed real estate market for many areas in recent months. Declining sales and property values are noted. A tight "buyer's market" is described.

More recently, however, some positive signals indicate there may soon be a turnaround in the market, making this period a highly strategic time to purchase a home or other real estate.

A study by the National Association of Realtors revealed that thereare recent across-the-board improvements in all areas of home affordability. This should help to boost sales and values.

The biggest positive impact on the recent market was declining interest rates, an NAR report noted. However, the decline was short-lived due to the military buildup in the Persian Gulf.

Factors -- economic and otherwise -- are just too uncertain and potentially volatile. But many real estate analysts are predicting a more robust market. While affordability is up, first-time homebuyers are still having a tough time getting into the market, particularly in high-priced areas.

Norman D. Flynn, NAR president, offers this advice for families seeking their first home:

"Individuals and families considering homeownership for the first time should not be discouraged by some of the initial obstacles that face them," he said.

"The lower adjustable-rate mortgage is a good financing tool for buyers to consider right now. Also, the Federal Housing Administration's single-family mortgage insurance program has helped low- and moderate-income families make the transition from renting to owning with its less stringent down-payment and qualifying requirements," Mr. Flynn said.

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