Today, 1/6/2011, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.77% (4.77% in the southeast), down from 4.86% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.13%, down from 4.20% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 5.09%.
So, to start the New Year, we are going to begin with lower rates. Note that we are starting the year with a lower average rate than we did at the start of 2010. Could our economy be doing a little better? Some signs show at least tiny improvements. It will be interesting to see how the coming year plays out. Let's hope for the best.
Freddie Mac's spokesperson said that, according to the National Association of REALTORS, housing affordability is at its highest level since they started keeping records of this factor in 1971. Lower interest rates helped to improve our population's ability to purchase a home. Of course, lower prices did not hurt at all either! As I reported previously here, they also noted that pending sales of existing homes were up for the 2nd month in a row in November 2010. Good signs, if not great ones.
I am noticing increased activity here in Zephyrhills, Florida. A large part of this is due to the last big wave of "snowbird" winter residents that are flocking to our area and to Florida now that the holiday season is over. Many of these will be looking for vacation homes or permanent residences, while others will be placing their properties up for sale. Just today I listed another home in a 55+ community. Hopefully, before long, some lucky new owners will have a place in Florida where they can escape the bad winter weather of the northern United States! No snow to shovel here!
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