With average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hitting 8% on Wednesday, you might be thinking twice about buying a home, even if you can afford one. But if you're trying to decide between buying now or waiting, remember that there's no guarantee that rates or home prices will get cheaper in 2024. The real estate market hasn't been favorable to buyers recently: Median home prices have shot up 26% since 2020. And 30-year fixed mortgage rates have more than doubled, from an average of 3.72% in January 2020 to 8% as of Oct. 18, 2023. Worse yet for buyers, mortgage rates could keep rising for the rest of 2023. Even with the "tricky" dynamics of high prices and fluctuating mortgage rates in the real estate market, buyers shouldn't necessarily try to time the market with their purchase, Tracy Kasper, president of the National Association of Realtors®, said Thursday during CNBC's Financial Advisor Summit. "Interest rates are high, but we also anticipate that they will go down. There will be opportunities to refinance" later, she said. The National Association of Realtors® expects 30-year fixed mortgage rates to fall to 6% by the end of 2024.

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