But if you need a home now — and you can stomach the roller coaster — the world is looking a little brighter when you squint. Yes, your monthly payments will be higher than they would have been had you bought a few months ago. But the low rates of 2020 and 2021 weren’t entirely your friend: They fueled a runaway train of spiraling home prices, pushing the boundaries of affordability. Soon, buyers may be in a better position than they have been in a long time.
Mr. Miller, who said he was “thrilled” to see rates rise, pointed out that “5 percent mortgage rates are not a bad thing in terms of sustainable housing markets.”
And remember: Rates fluctuate. Unlike the price you pay for a home, which is permanent, the mortgage rate is not. Or, as Mr. Sharga put it, you “date the rate, but marry the home.”
Not surprisingly, real estate agents, who earn their income from home sales, are bullish about buying now, arguing that for the first time in a long time, buyers could get a deal.
“You have to be a little bit of a cowgirl,” said Bess Freedman, the chief executive of Brown Harris Stevens, which predicted in its second quarter market report that Manhattan was shifting to a buyer’s market. While one buyer may be scared off by the volatility, another “may come in and say, ‘You know what, there’s a hell of an opportunity right now. I have the money, I’m going to go in, I’m going to negotiate, I’m going to get a great price.’”
As the market cools, it could return to one that resembles a prepandemic normal, with homes that take a few months to sell and prices that increase gradually. Buyers may be able to start making a few reasonable demands — for appraisals, inspections and mortgage contingencies. And as inventory increases, they may even be able to compare a few options before making a decision.