It’s been a good spring for the housing market. Newly released data from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index shows an increase of 12.1% over last year’s price in the top twenty real estate markets across the country. Analysts say that the tight supply of homes for sale, record low mortgage rates and a drop in foreclosures are behind the growth.

But, that’s not necessarily good in the long term. Mortgage rates are beginning to rise as well, which is cutting into the purchase power of potential buyers. The National Association of Realtors warned last week that “home price growth is too fast.” They say the market needs more new home construction and easier access to credit for buyers.

Another factor to consider are the changes to mortgage industry mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Nearly a dozen new regulations totaling almost 4,000 pages are scheduled to take effect at the beginning of next year.  Among the regulations are definitions of a Qualified Mortgage and a Qualified Residential Mortgage. Writing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin Bankers Association CEO Rose Oswald Poels says this will mean “Fewer, more difficult to obtain loans, which are more costly and statistically less risky, but also less helpful for consumers.”

And although you may feel the need to buy now before prices rise too much, many experts advise caution. Amy Hoak of The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch offers five excellent tips for avoiding “buyer’s remorse.” She says you need to consider a home’s location and potential hidden costs. You need to confirm the house is what you really want and really need at this time. And she writes that you have to balance between a home’s cost, function and delight.

The decision to buy or wait is yours. But, don’t feel like you have to make it alone. Give me a call and I can help you put everything in perspective and help you find a home that meets your needs, fits your budget, and that will make you happy for years to come. 

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI,
Keller Williams Realty

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting

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