Today, 8/27/09, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.14% (5.10% in the southeast), up from 5.12% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.58%, up from 4.56% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 6.40%.
Mortgage interest rates hardly budged this week and remain at very low levels. This, coupled with low home prices and the "first-time" buyers tax credit have helped to make homes more affordable for a larger section of our population.
As I mentioned in previous posts, it would be nice if congress would extend the tax credit into the coming year and expand it so that current homeowners who want to move can use it as well. That would do a lot to jump start the housing market even more than it has already.
All of these positive points have helped the sales of existing homes increase for 4 straight months nationally, and for much longer in the State of Florida. 11 straight months if my memory serves me. Here in Zephyrhills that will heat up even more as our "snowbird" winter residents return and begin to look for vacation retreats. Up north the real estate companies think of winter as a dead period, but here we see it as a time when we sell many properties. Even now we are seeing snowbirds down here looking for that special place where they can escape the cold, snow, and ice of winter. I say, "Come on down. The more the merrier!"
Not only have existing AND new home sales increased in the past months, but so have home prices begun to rise little-by-little. For the second month in a row according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency and other organizations.
Just listening to the news or reading the newspapers, we now see more positive news about housing than negative. Is the overall slump over? Nope. But starting to make progress on many fronts is good news no matter how you look at it. Let us hope that the economic pendulum is finally beginning to swing back to the positive side. Looks like it. These things go in cycles, and it appears that we are entering a new and better phase. Would be nice, wouldn't it!
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