“Mortgage rates, even though they’ve popped up a bit, are still close to as low as we’ve ever seen. If you’ve been thinking of buying a house, you better get out and do it.”
David Blitzer, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices, as quoted in “Did You Miss Your Chance to Make a Real-Estate Killing?” by Joe Light, Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2013.
In his article, Light evaluates real estate as an investment given recently rising prices and mortgage rates. His conclusion? “Relatively cheap mortgages still make it a great time to buy a home to live in, but anyone hoping to treat it as an “investment” should be wary.” (italics mine)
His reasoning? Home prices are no longer at rock-bottom lows. By some measures, residential real estate is already above long-term historic valuation levels, which suggests future appreciation may be slow to moderate. Past price appreciation may not be as impressive as nostalgic home owners recall, according to research by Light, who says that since 1960, home prices may have increased each year only by the rate of inflation or, at most, little more than a percent above that rate.