Today, 11/04/09, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.98% (5.01% in the southeast), down from 5.03% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.40%, down from 4.46% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 6.20%.
Nice to see the rates back below the 5% point again! Keep in mind that time is short for those of you who have contracts on homes that need to close before the end of November so you can get the tax credit. However, the latest news I hear is that it will likely be extended in some for 5 more months in some form. The Senate and House have passed a bill that is apparently on its way to President Obama for his signature. Not all that a lot of us wanted, but it is better than "a poke in the eye", as my grandfather used to say. But keep abreast of developments so you do not lose out.
Freddie Mac is hoping that the drop in interest rates will help propel the housing recovery even further down the path to better times. In the first 9 months of 2009 Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have helped to refinance 3.5 million loans. According to their calculations, these refinancings helped to lower the median interest rate of borrowers by 1.1%. That can mean big savings over the life of a 30 year mortgage. If the refinancing takes a borrower from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate product, that is another plus for the homeowner.
As I mentioned in a recent post, pending home sales are up again. More good news that you may want to check out. Supposedly this was the fastest pace of growth since December 2006. Spending on private construction also rose 3.9%. The largest gain since July 2003.
So good news, but small steps I think. However, any forward movement is not a bad thing. One big obstacle now is to get the mentality of the country on a more positive track. After so many months of doom and gloom, our society needs a while to assimilate the fact that the worst could be over. Let's hope so!
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