Top Reasons Central PA Buyers Have Put Their Plans on Hold

For many central PA residents considering purchasing a home in the last few years, plans have been put on the back burner. One of the biggest driving factors of delayed home purchase plans is the rapid rise in mortgage interest rates to high levels not seen in decades. As mortgage rates hit average highs of almost 8% some buyers realized their purchasing power for a home was much more limited as compared to just a year prior. 

Top Reasons Homebuyers Paused Their Buying Plans

According to data recently shared by Bright MLS, there are three top driving factors that have led buyers in central PA and all around America to put their homebuying dreams on hold. These Include: 

Mortgage Rates

Numbers from Bright MLS showed that 72.1% of potential homebuyers put a halt to their plans to buy their next home because of where mortgage rates climbed. November 2023 saw an average interest rate of 7.9%. This number was much higher than even the most discerning real estate market analyst predicted (just proving that there is no magic crystal ball to 100% accurately predict what is going to happen with mortgage interest rates). While many real estate markets are still in a sellers' market status, the demand for homes from buyers did slow down significantly through 2023 as mortgage rates continued to climb. 

Inventory Numbers

The number of homes for sale has been on the low end for some time both in PA and across the country. Some locations have increased in inventory but not enough to balance the market back out or turn the market into a buyers' market. A balanced market means that there is a projection of 6 mos of inventory as compared to the amount of buyers looking for homes. A buyers' market means there is more than a 6 mos supply. Some areas went from about a 2-month supply to around a 3 or 4-month supply, but this still means inventory is low. Crazy low inventory numbers during peak season in 2020 were met with insane competition between multiple buyers for the same home that often led to purchasing a home far above the list price. This has led some buyers to back out not wanting to fight over a home with another buyer. About 34.4% of buyers put their buying dreams on hold because of a low selection of homes. 

Home Prices and Affordability 

Numbers showed that 17.4% of buyers decided to hold on their plan to purchase a home because home prices have increased and that coupled with mortgage rates has made some homes unaffordable to buyers. Homes that were within an affordable budget not long ago. For some buyers it bumped them from being able to afford the next home they were looking for and instead of compromising on a home with less, they decided to wait. 

How Long Should PA Buyers Wait to Buy a Home? 

Top Reasons Central PA Buyers Have Put Their Plans on HoldIf you have put your purchase of a central PA home off because the competition was too much or the affordability felt impossible with new mortgage rates, it may be a good time to reassess your buying goals. Kenny Raymond, an expert realtor in Miami explains why buyers should not wait to purchase a home, " it is best to find what your affordable home budget is and to search sooner rather than later. A lower mortgage interest rate can bring a lower monthly payment, but home values and prices are expected to increase as the seller's market continues." 

If you're hoping to purchase a home in central Pennsylvania yet this year I am here to help. Contact me anytime with any central Pennsylvania real estate needs for both buying or selling a home. I'm here to help you access your true home affordability budget and help you get into a home you will love in Central PA.

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