In a "normal" market, much of the buying activity occurs during certain times of year. Typically from late Feb to the end of June is the busiest time with regards to buyers looking at property and making offers. This slows down beginning in July through about the end of September and then picks up again in early October to about the end of November. Therefore, you will usually have "more buying competition" during those busy buying times. However, this year, the market is very soft and inventory is high. That is, you have a good selection of homes to choose from, so right now, your timing is very good. Keep in mind that you may spend some time looking for a home, making an offer, and the escrow period is usually from 30 to 60 days. Therefore, if you need to be out of your rental home in early July, then you might want to start looking within the next 30 days or so, to give youself enough time to find the right house.
With regards to the increase in the conforming loan limits, it is true that they are going up effective July 1, 2008. What that means, is that if you need a loan larger than $417,000, then you might want to want to fund your loan until after July 1. At this time we do not know what the interest rates will be, but historically, Jumbo loans (those over the conforming loan limit) have been about 1% higher than the conforming loans. We think the new conforming loan limit may be around $729,000.
Taking all this into account, if you want to move around July 1, and do not need a loan larger than $417,000, then you should start looking fairly soon. If you need a larger loan, you may want to talk to a lender about how you time your move and still take advantage of the larger loan limits.
I hope this helps you. If you need more information, or have other questions, please feel free to call or e-mail me.
Pacific Strand Real Estate