(WGGB/WSHM) -- With record-low mortgage rates, you may think now’s the perfect time to buy a house.
However, that might not be the case as housing prices are on the rise across the country, including western Massachusetts.
Housing prices are surging across the country as people rush to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates.
Sue Drumm, president of the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley, told Western Mass News there are a few factors playing into this rise.
“The number one reason is we have such a low inventory of homes that are available and such a high buyer demand. Interest rates are historically low, so anytime you get those three things happening at the same time, you’re going to see prices go up,” Drumm explained.
Drumm said average prices in the pioneer valley climbed about seven percent from last year. They’re seeing the hike affecting single and multi-family homes, as well as condos.
With buyers racing to secure their dream homes, sellers are seeing offers way above their asking price, which Drumm said isn’t a good thing.
“It is so competitive out there. A lot of buyers are getting caught up in bidding wars for properties, but we have to be mindful that just because the house…you want it so badly, you may be willing to pay a lot more for it. We have to remember that that house still has an appraisal value to it, so the bank is only going to loan you what the house is actually worth,” Drumm added.
Drumm’s advice to first-time home buyers: “They need to be patient. They need to partner up with a realtor and a lender. Have a good solid pre-approval or pre-qualification from your lender, and have that updated regularly.”
Even though high prices might make buying a home trickier, it’s not impossible.
Soleil and Curtis Curylo recently bought a house in Westfield. They said despite steeper costs, buying right now just made sense.
“We wanted to lock in that low APR, the low interest rate while we could,” the Curylos explained.
Throughout their search in western Massachusetts, the Curylos said they definitely noticed a change in the market.
“The prices have definitely been much higher than they normally would be...I have a friend who was trying to sell their house and before the market became the way it is, they were having trouble getting anywhere near what they wanted and I want to say they put it on the market a couple months ago, and within two weeks, it had sold for above asking," Soleil Curylo added.
Because mortgage rates are so low, many homeowners may be looking to refinance, but in that case, they may need to act fast to avoid a new half-a-percent refinance fee going into effect on December 1.