Florida residents who are looking for a home may have noticed the recent slump in sales. According to the Commerce Department, new home sales across the nation fell 7.8 percent in January. Sales were down 14.2 percent in the South and 33.3 percent in the Northeast. Among the reasons cited for the drop were poor weather and increasing home prices.
Changes to the tax law may also negate some of the perks of buying a home. The median price of a new home was $323,000, which was a 2.5 percent increase from January 2017. This was partially because the price of home materials went up 3 percent in 2017, and it is expected that they will continue to rise. Fewer homes on the market is another factor that has caused home prices to increase, and this trend may continue as there is less land to build new homes on.
Nationally, prices rose 6.3 percent with higher gains in Seattle and Las Vegas. Home prices in those cities increased by 12.7 percent and 11.1 percent. Higher mortgage rates may also make it more expensive to borrow money needed to purchase a property. According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed loan is 4.4 percent, which is up from 3.8 percent in September 2017.
Prior to closing on a residential property, it may be worthwhile to talk with an attorney. He or she may be able to check the title on a property to ensure that it is zoned properly and that there are no liens on it. This might prevent a buyer from having to pay back taxes or other fees in addition to closing costs. An attorney may also be able to talk about a buyer's ability to deduct property taxes or mortgage interest.