Late spring and early summer are usually thought of as the ideal times to list a home, especially when it comes to Boston real estate. As the snow disappears and flowers begin to bud, homes tend to show better and are ready for the increase in buyer demand come June, July and August. Many Boston buyers prefer to move in the summer for multiple reasons: perhaps they want to get settled before the kids start school, maybe they are coming off a lease, or maybe they are starting school or just celebrated a graduation. In fact, sales volume has been highest in June, July and August since 2000, according to Zillow.com.
This year, however, it is looking like we will see the peak early. The first-time home buyer $8,000 tax credit is set to expire on June 30th, meaning buyers looking to take advantage of this government incentive will need to have a home under-agreement by April 30th, and close by the end of June. We are also seeing an uptick in interest rates, which will put a significant dent in buyer purchasing power. A 1 percent increase in mortgage interest rates will decrease a buyer’s purchasing power an about 10 percent. Lending rates began to climb last months and savvy buyers who are mortgage dependent will realize that they may be able to afford significantly more house now than they will by the end of 2010, when many experts suggest a 30-year-fixed loan could be well over 6.5 percent.