That is the question for many potential homebuyers. (Apologies to William Shakespeare) But it is complicated by two other questions that must be answered by two other related parties – (1) the seller: To sell (at a distressed price) or not to sell (and wait till the market improves) and (2) the bank: To finance or not to finance.
In “normal” times (i.e. such as existed for most of the last half century) when interest rates were low, it was an opportune time for eager homebuyers to fulfill their dreams. In “normal” times, prevailing mortgage interest rates are the critical element in determining the price a buyer is willing to pay, because the interest rate is the fulcrum in the transaction.
In “normal” times, low interest rates give house prices an upward boost that sellers are happy to meet and that buyers know they can afford. In “normal” times, banks’ mortgage business thrives when interest rates are low and the arithmetic for approving a mortgage is straightforward and logical.
But we are not living in normal times.