Today, 10/15/09, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.92% (4.94% in the southeast), up from 4.87% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.37%, up from 4.33% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 6.46%. Still a lot lower now, right?
Even though the 30 year fixed-rate interest rose a bit, this is still the third week in a row that it has been under 5%. Not too shabby. Especially with low prices on homes and that tax credit, if you qualify. Do keep in mind that time is running out for buyers who plan on using the credit. I find that normally it takes 30 days to buy a home if financing is involved. Since the tax credit will die on November 30th if there is no extension, if you do not have your home under contract by the start of that month, it will be difficult to close in time. My guess is that if you are trying to do a short sale, it will be next to impossible to get the bank to cooperate in time. They often take much more than 30 days.
However, many sides are fighting to get the tax credit extended into 2010 and expand it so all buyers can use it for the purchase of their personal residences (no vacation homes). If you have not already done so, you may want to contact your representatives in Washington and tell them to get off their duffs and extend this program. Especially if you are thinking of buying or selling a home next year. You can find your Senators here: www.senate.gov and your Congressman here: www.house.gov E-mail them and let them know your thoughts.
The Federal Reserve said that the idea of economic growth for the second half of this year has improved. The majority of economists think that the worst is over, though recover will take some time.
The Fed noted that in the housing sector it appeared that a "gradual recovery was under way". Improvements in the affordability of homes and those great low interest rates have helped to propel this forward movement. Sellers, buyers, real estate agents, and most other citizens hope that this recovery continues to move forward and does not falter.
Do keep in mind that we are a very large country. So figures that come out for the entire nation, may have little or no relevance for your particular area. In the end, it is best if you speak with a local REALTOR or financing expert to see what the situation is for your part of the United States. Florida is not Michigan, nor is Maine the same as California. Market conditions can be very different from place-to-place. Also, your own credit history, the property you want to buy, etc. will effect your specific loan options and interest rates. Your mortgage broker or bank loan officer can give you more specific information.
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