Today 3/27/08, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rates for 30 year fixed-rate interest rates have dropped slightly while interest rates for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages rose slightly. Nationally the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.85% (5.84% in the southeast), down from 5.87% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.34%, up from 5.27% last week.
Though the results were mixed, they were so small as to be insignificant. Most of the economic indicators provided results that had been predicted. No surprises to cause the interest rates to fluctuate more vigorously. For example, the index of leading economic indicators fell for the 5th straight month and consumer confidence hit a five year low.
Regarding the housing market, prices continue to fall overall. A yearly price decline of 11.4% was noted from January 2007 to January 2008. However, the National Association of REALTORs noted that sales of existing homes did increase in February of this year. The lower prices are making homes more affordable for many buyers, and the lower interest rates are making them somewhat easier to finance. In face, NAR's "Home Affordability Index" was at its highest in 5 years. Perhaps a light at the end of a long tunnel.
Do keep in mind that we live in a very large and complex country. What happens in California is not necessarily what is happening in Florida. And what happens in Florida may be a far cry from what occurs in Michigan. Real estate is still very much a local issue.
If you want to learn more about Freddie Mac or see the details of their survey, go to: www.freddiemac.com and click on the link for "Current Weekly Survey". They break down the survey by specific regions in the United States so you can see how your state compares to other parts of the country. They also explain the mission of Freddie Mac and offer a lot of useful information for consumers.
If you would like to speak with a lender you can find some at my website: www.jelwell.century21bnr.com . You can also speak with your own bank, credit union, or mortgage broker to see what your particular interest rate would be, should you decide to finance a home purchase.
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida