There is definitely some good news about the housing market. CoreLogic has just released its latest report: home prices nationwide are up 11% in December compared to the year before. Part of this is the market correcting itself (prices had gone lower than they should have), but part is the continuing high demand for housing.
There are still many stories in the media about the supposed impossibility of getting a mortgage. Banks aren’t lending, they say. Credit standards are too high, so nobody apart from Daddy Warbucks can qualify for a mortgage.
I call bullpuckey. The process of getting a mortgage is more rigorous than it has been in the past—borrowers have to *gasp* document their income and assets—but the standards are not impossible at all. Anyone with a reasonable credit history and a cash down payment as low as .5% can become a homeowner.
Here’s the bottom line: real estate is still a great investment, not only for the value of having a roof over your head, but also because you can expect it to increase in value over time. I talk about why NOW is a good time to buy in an earlier article, “I Think We Should Wait.”
You can read the whole CoreLogic report here.