If ever there was a good time to invest in real estate, it's now. Seriously. We happen to believe the bottom is in. Regardless of whether it is or isn't there are several factors that bring me to the conclusion that it is time to buy now.
The first is that the banks need money. Banks are in trouble, they need money to survive. Not all banks of course. There are many regional banks that avoided this economic crisis we're in by following sound business practices and lending money to people that could pay it back. The problem is that the responsible banks will still pay for the greed and bad practices of the big major conglomerate bank/finance companies. The way banks make money is by charging interest rates for money they lend. OK, simple enough. This contraction the economy is in has put most of these big banks in the red. The best and easiest way for them to become profitable (and pay back all that money they owe us, the taxpayer) is to make more money, and they do this by raising interest rates. Credit companies are already doing it.
The Wichita Real Estate market fared better than most during the latest housing bubble. It slowed, like the rest of the country, but in comparison actually did very well. This shows how well this particular market holds it's value. Housing prices are on the rise though. The last housing price index, HPI, came in at a positive 0.7% when analysts were expecting a negative 0.7%. That's a full point! On the sales front, existing new home sales were less that expected by .11 million. Not a bad number really. People are buying, just not in droves yet. When the flood of buyers start, prices will react quickly. Builders and homeowners alike have been taking much lower prices than their homes warrant. Whether buying a home for the first time, buying a second or vacation home or just investing in Real Estate you will want to buy while prices are low.
The last really bad inflation we had was in the 1970s and 80s. I remember my family paying 17% interest on the home we lived in. Back then it certainly didn't bother me, that was my Dads problem. Now it will be mine. When the economy becomes inflated the Federal reserve is inclined to raise interest rates to try and tame it. Just as the Feds started to drastically reduced rates around 1999-2000 to stimulate the economy they will easily go the other way to slow it down. Inflation is coming. With all the money the Government and Fed have had to print and borrow in 2009, inflation will surely come around. Inflation happens when there is to much money supply. It reduces demand making money not so important, causing the price of goods and services go up.
The Government has made available an $8000 dollar tax credit to first home buyers for this year only. That's the time period between January 1st to December 1st. This does not have to be repayed. It is a big incentive to get people to buy. There are many economists that believe the health of the recovery we are beginning to feel depends on the housing market. The Government is doing everything it can to promote this. Extraordinary measures are being taken. When the recovery comes, and it will, home prices and interest rates will rise quickly. The Government will not be so generous as the next task will be to repay all the money that was borrowed and printed.
Now is the time to buy and this is the perfect market. A perfect storm of good news for investors and potential homeowners alike.