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Housing market remains ripe for homebuyers, banker says

Glenn Reynolds of Arvest Bank discusses home affordability and historically low rates.
by Paula Burkes Modified: April 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm •  Published: April 30, 2013

Q&A with Glenn Reynolds

Housing market remains ripe

for homebuyers, banker says

Q: Is this a good year to buy a home?

A: There's a lot of good news about housing right now. According to the latest data — the fourth quarter of last year — 74.9 percent of the homes that sold between October and December were affordable to families earning the median income of $65,000, up from 74.1 percent from the previous. The affordability of homes is reaching close to historical highs.

Q: How about interest rates? Do they remain at record lows?

A: Yes, and they're expected to stay low with the Fed aiming to keep the Fed Funds Rate between 0 percent and 0.25 percent. It expects that number to be “exceptionally low” until at least mid-2015. Arvest loans to people with credit scores from 620 and above with as little as 3.5 percent down. First-time homebuyers really should consider purchasing now, for this window of almost perfect conditions — low interest rates and low prices — isn't likely to last much longer, since home prices are expected to continue rising.

Q: Aren't home prices starting to rise?

A: Yes, but prices still remain at 30 percent below peak prices before the housing crash. More often than not, low home prices are indicative of a struggling real estate market, so this gradual rise is a good sign of economic recovery as long as consumers don't wait for prices to fully rebound before they decide to buy.


by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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