Looking to Buy an Affordable House? You Should Act Quickly

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The number of reasonably priced homes for sale is expected to decline in coming months. Here's what that means for potential homebuyers.

If you’re in the market to purchase an affordable home, you might struggle to find the right property, according to research from the National Association of Realtors.

Homebuyers at a variety of income levels “could see an inadequate amount of listings on the market within their price range in coming months,” according to the report.

The findings are based on the Realtors Affordability Distribution Curve and Score, a new tool from the National Association of Realtors and Realtor.com that is based on mortgage data, state-level income and available house listings. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, tells NBC News:

“Home prices over the past five years have risen by 40 percent while income has only gone up half that rate, so on just the price and growth differential, there are affordability challenges.”

Trulia also is sounding the alarm bells about affordability. Its “market mismatch score” measures search interest against available listings.

Trulia says that by the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, the average market mismatch score in the U.S. hit 7.4 percent — an increase of 1.8 percentage points — “with most shoppers searching for starter and trade-up homes but most listings being premium homes.”

If you’re hunting for a home, make sure you do your homework before you start looking. Doing so can help you make sure you eventually buy a home within your budget. As we note in “9 Golden Rules for Getting the Best Mortgage Loan You Can“:

You’re probably itching to start shopping for a home. That’s fun, but keep your head on straight. Shop for the mortgage first. Looking for a home often gets emotions and fantasies all fired up, tempting shoppers to spend more than they can afford.

Another way to get a great rate is to check out our Solutions Center, where you can compare mortgage rates from top lenders.

Finally, if you’re looking for help in cobbling together a down payment, check out “10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a Home.”

Are you in the market for a new home? Share your homebuying experiences below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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