Having seen the calendar turn over, the largest borrower age group is now 32 years old. We have years of pent-up demand, with first-time home buyers still at an average age of 34. They were priced out for years, then feared out. Many want to own, creating long-term wealth only real estate provides most Americans. But affordability will continue to be the limiting factor, especially in the Denver market. As rates fluctuate, we will continue to see buyers react. As rates dipped in November/early December, we saw seven weeks of slowly returning buyers through increasing mortgage purchase applications. Then, during the last two weeks of December, rates moved back up above 6.5 percent, and so went the buyers, with applications dropping 12.2 percent from just two weeks earlier.
Buyers today have the advantage of less competition and more negotiating power. That opportunity will evaporate as rates drop below 6 percent and more buyers come back into the market. While I would advise all buyers to jump in now, I also want to express caution. A buyer today is looking at the long-term benefits of owning a home: the lifestyle, stability, and protection a home provides. Yes, real estate will always go up in value, but short term, we could be in for a little more price instability.
So my advice? Buy when it’s the right time in your life. Make sure you have job stability and a little money in the bank. Then, go in with confidence knowing the Denver Metro continues to provide long-term appreciation and a beautiful place to live.
Well, that’s a wrap. Until next time, this is Nicole Rueth with the Rueth Team, powered by OneTrust Home Loans. It’s my pleasure to keep you updated…and say farewell to 2022!