There will always be those who try to “time the market,” but there’s one factor you can’t know — when buying a home will become more expensive.
Certainly you can tell from recent trends whether or not prices and mortgage interest rates are in your favor. Monthly prices have risen year-over-year for three years. Mortgage interest rates are slowly rising, but remain at extremely attractive levels.
You could wait for prices to fall, but there are two problems with that idea. First, it would take an economic recession to lower prices, which could take months or years. With the exception of the Great Recession, you won’t know if you’re in or out of a recession until the talking heads online inform you.
Second, mortgage interest rates have been kept artificially low for five years. That’s a very long time. With steady gains in employment, it’s not likely they will go any lower. In fact, higher interest rates could wipe out any gains you could save by waiting to buy.