Home values in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties, as measured by the Case-Shiller Index, are down 30% from the peak in July 2007. This is hardly an all-time low; theyâ€™re at about the same level they were at in 2004, which was a time of then-record price highs.
Mortgage rates are at their lowest level since the Truman administration, and thatâ€™s having a profound effect on affordability.
Put record-low mortgage rates together with todayâ€™s home prices, and youâ€™ve got monthly payments that are their lowest since the 1990s!
At the peak of the market, a niceSeattlehome might cost $500,000. With a 6.5% interest rate, a minimum-down buyer would have $3050 mortgage payment.
Today, that home might cost $400,000, and with interest rates under 4%, the monthly payment goes down to $1815 a month:
Either way â€“ the combination of record-low interest rates and bottom-of-the-market prices are making homes much more affordable than at any time in the last dozen years.
Move-up homebuyers who may be discouraged by the currently low values - take heart; you'll more than make up for it on the buying end!