Home prices are already near record highs. Interest rates are inching upward. Competition over homes is already fierce. What buyers don't need is another challenge when it comes to fitting a mortgage payment into their monthly budget. Nonetheless, gas prices appear to be getting started on their summer surge a little early this year.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is up 60 cents compared to last year and experts are predicting further increases in the coming months. While there is no definitive data that links transportation costs to the housing market, studies have shown that gas prices are one of the biggest factors that rattle consumer confidence.
With California's notorious commutes, higher fuel costs could have a major impact in where buyers choose to live.
"With gasoline prices rising, mortgage rates rising, it is burdening the housing costs for people who are looking far away from job centers and downtown areas," said National Association of Relators' chief economist Lawrence Yun.
Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.5 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.0 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.
Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.