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February 21, 2024

Expert Advice: Is a Recession a Good Time to Buy Real Estate?

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Is a recession a good time to purchase a property? Why, or why not? We turned to the experts to break it down.

Chase Michels, The Michels Group - COMPASS

Recessions typically bring lower interest rates and create a buyer's market for single-family homes. As long as you're secure with your finances a downturn can be a great opportunity to buy a home.

Pros of Buying a Home During a Recession

Lower Prices
During a recession, there are usually fewer buyers, so houses stay on the market longer. This makes sellers more likely to lower their listing prices to get them sold.

Lower Mortgage Rates*
The Federal Reserve generally lowers the interest rate during a recession, to stimulate the economy. This results in banks lowering their rates, too, including the mortgage rate. With a lower mortgage rate, you will end up paying less for your home over the years. Given the historically low rates we are coming out of this does not currently hold true though.

Seller Concessions
As their houses sit on the market longer, sellers start getting nervous. You can ask for concessions that you weren't able to six months ago when there were 5 buyers for every home coming on the market.

Cons of Buying a House During a Recession

Job Uncertainty
With unemployment rates shooting up during a typical recession, many jobs are in danger of cutbacks or elimination. Given the current job market, this shouldn't be a major concern right now. A lot of companies are hiring and unemployment is still historically low.

Banks Are Less Likely to Lend You Money
Banks understand how economic uncertainty can affect anyone’s job. So, they are less likely to approve mortgages and making it harder to get loans approved. You will have to jump through more hurdles but if you have strong credit and income this shouldn't play a major factor either.

Mark Severino, Texas Best Home Buyers

A recession is an excellent time to buy a house. When done for the purpose of investment, if the numbers work, then "now" is the single best time to buy a house. While mortgage rates can rise and fall real estate values, in general, will go up over time. As long as the exit strategy allows the buyer to hold and NOT HAVE TO SELL at a loss then a house can be a fantastic investment in any market.

Related Reading: Is a Recession a Good Time to Buy a House?

Kyle McCorker, Owner of Safe Home Offer

Personally, this has been a great time for me to buy houses. Because I am a cash buyer, I am not bound by interest rates. And now that the market is stabilizing more from the peak 8-12 months ago, people are realizing that their less than ideal listings aren't flying with buyers who have to pay a hefty price for a loan, which brings the cost of their home down.

For traditional buyers, on the market, this could also be a good time to buy despite the high interest rates. They can get a discounted price on a house that would have likely been listed for many thousands more just a few months ago. Sure, they will be paying a lot for their loans, but these interest rates won't last forever, and refinancing is always an option. As always, buying well below your max budget is preferable, and now that the market has stabilized, that is more of a reality for many people.

Neil Anders, Trusted Rate Inc

The interest rate is greater than it has been in recent years. Nonetheless, they remain extremely attractive. If you examine historical statistics and see where interest rates in this country have been in the past, it is still a great time to buy. In all honesty, 6 percent or even 8 percent interest does not frighten me because buying is still preferable to renting. When you rent, you pay 100 percent interest since you are paying the mortgage of the landlord. Thus, renting is far worse. When interest rates rise, your tax deduction increases since mortgage interest is tax-deductible and a component of the mortgage. With this, it is certain that the mortgage must be reduced. If you examine historical data, you will notice that whenever inflation has risen, interest rates have increased to counteract it. Then, with inflation and high velocity, a recession ensues. Recession will then occur to reinvigorate spending. The federal government lowered interest rates to encourage individuals to resume spending. So, it is similar to a yo-yo effect. We simply adhere to the same trend. We predict that next year, when the recession begins, the federal government will lower interest rates to boost consumption. In addition, if you examine the website-provided interest rate history, you will notice that rates soften every year, particularly in election years. With this information, particularly past data, we are confident that future rates will improve.

Robert J Fischer, Owner/Broker, The Robert J Fischer Team

There are advantages and disadvantages when buying a property during the recession. The first obvious benefit of buying a property during a recession is that prices are lower, making it possible for purchasers to afford homes that might have previously been out of their price range. During a recession, mortgage rates are also likely to be cheaper, giving purchasers the benefit of both low interest rates and reduced prices. Since there is less competition from other bidders and homes are on the market for longer, sellers are more ready to haggle and make concessions.

For the disadvantages, banks are also less likely to make loans during economic downturns, particularly to people who work in sectors of the economy that are particularly hard impacted. Additionally, you'll probably need to provide evidence of savings equivalent to several months' worth of mortgage payments, so buyers during a recession need to have a sizeable emergency fund on hand.

Joel Efosa, CEO of Fire Cash Buyers

A recession is the PERFECT time to buy a house for any financially responsible average American or real estate investor that prepared and saved their money in advance.
This is when most houses foreclose and landlords get tired of non paying tenants or the increase in evictions.
This causes real estate to be auctioned or sold at a deep deep discount.
If you buy real estate in the right or hottest markets at a discount, your return on investment will be realized that much sooner.
This is exactly what will generate a transfer of wealth that will inevitably occur.

Related Reading: What is the average cash flow on a rental property?

Warner Quiroga, Prestige Home Buyers

While recession causes a slump in the economy, it is somehow an excellent time for homebuyers to take advantage of. During a recession, home value and prices tend to fall, and interest rates are meager. Home sellers consider short-selling their homes and lowering their costs. There is less demand and competition for houses during this time, which means a scarcity of choices for home buyers.  

So if you have enough funds and resources to buy a house, doing it during a recession might be a good idea. However, the other aspects of home buying, such as purchasing materials for construction, maybe a bit challenging since there is news of construction materials and labor shortages. Should you need reconstruction for your home. Nevertheless, it is an excellent choice to buy a house during a recession since it is easier to find houses at a bargain.

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