Today, 10/22/09, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.00% (5.01% in the southeast), up from 4.92% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.43%, up from 4.37% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 6.04%. Still a lot lower now, right?
Bond yields went up this week and Freddie Mac said that interest rates played "follow-the-leader". Though the rise was not much at all and rates are still historically low. They mentioned that it appeared (what a surprise) that consumers seemed to be more interested in fixed-rate loan products rather than adjustable rate programs (ARMs). With rates so low for fixed-rate loans, do you blame them? Why not lock in the low rates that will be in effect for the life of the loan, 30 years instead of using a loan plan that could easily go up. Rates cannot go much lower, so about the only way an ARM can go is up. Or so logic would seem to say. No wonder fixed-rate mortgages seem to be more attractice. DUH!
The Federal Reserve reported that the housing recovery was still progressing and that this was most evident in the low to middle level priced homes. However, overall new construction in many areas remained somewhat stagnant. Though new construction rose in September (3.9% annual rate), it was not enough to offset the decline that occurred in August. This was based on info released by the Department of Commerce (see previous post on this topic). But an increase is an increase!
Again let me remind you that many sides are still fighting to get the home buyers tax credit extended into 2010 and expanded 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.
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