Today 5/14/09 Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.85% (4.79% in the southeast), up from 4.84% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.52%, up from 4.51% last week. Hardly worth noting. A year ago the 30 year rate was 6.01%.
Interest rates remain relatively unchanged based on employment figures that were released this week for April 2009. Even though more jobs were lost and the unemployment totals rose, the numbers of jobs lost in April were smaller than had been the case in previous months. This could (could) be a good sign if it continues in the future.
Freddie Mac noted the same things that one of my more recent posts reported. Lower home prices and lower interest rates have helped to spur some buyers to make purchases. "Home Affordability" is at historical highs according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). NAR also reported that half of the home sales that took place in the first 3 months of 2009 were made by first-time home buyers. I wonder if that $8,000 tax credit is enticing some of these buyers. Though remember, as I have said repeatedly, "first-time" is misleading. As long as you have not owned a home during the past 3 years, you likely qualify as a first-time buyer as far as this tax credit is concerned. But run it by your lender to make sure.
Here in Zephyrhills, Florida we are noticing that inventory levels appear to be dropping. A year ago it was not uncommon to see 30 to 40 homes come onto the market each day. Now, 4 to 8 seem to be the norm for the area I monitor. Also, when we go on "agents tours" each Wednesday to see new listings, instead of having 30 homes to visit, we now have six or seven. Not to mention how quiet things sound in many of the developments where builders were very active 3 years ago. So we could very well see a leveling off in prices here, especially in conventional types of housing. Condos often move in separate paths. From what I see, prices are stablizing in the East Pasco County area of Florida. I do not see how they can go much lower. We will just have to watch and see.
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