Today 2/14/08, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rates for 30 and 15 year fixed-rate loans moved slightly upward. Nationally the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.72% (5.68% in the southeast), up from 5.67% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.25%, up from 5.15% last week.
Lately interest rates have been fluctuating within a very narrow range and are still historically pretty low, considering that home prices are also lower than they have been. Usually either the interest rates are high and home prices low, or vice versa. For some time now, both have been low. That's good for buyers who can take advantage of it with good credit ratings or cash reserves. Sadly, lenders continue to tighten their requirements for loans and that decreases the number of persons who can buy homes. Sad because it was the lenders who talked buyers in the past to get risky subprime loans. And it is these types of loans that have helped ignite the slump we are now in.
For its part Freddie Mac said that there was not a lot of economic information released in the past week and what was available continued to send uncertain messages about the short-term economic situation. Labor productivity rose while production costs were lower than expected. But pending existing home sales fell again in December. It is felt that this is an omen of lower sales in January and February as well. This helped keep mortgage rates relatively stable.
Do keep in mind that we live in a very large and complex country. What happens in California is not necessarily what is happening in Florida. And what happens in Florida may be a far cry from what occurs in Michigan. Real estate is still very much a local issue.
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