Today 8/14/08 Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rates for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged for the third week and 15 year fixed-rate loans were down a bit from last week. Nationally the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 6.52% (6.49% in the southeast), unchanged from a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 6.07%, down from 6.10% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 6.62%.
As seems to be always the case, a real mish-mash of data kept the rates steady. Consumer credit was up by $14 billion in June while retail sales were weaker in July. Wonder if we spent so much on credit in June that we were scared to buy more in July. Thus the lower sales?
In the housing market pending sales of existing homes surprisingly went up in June. The National Association of REALTORs (NAR) is hoping that this is a positive omen for what is to come in July and August, traditionally big months for home buyers nationwide. Here in Zephyrhills and Florida the winter is also a good time of year due to our snowbirds and their searches for winter retreats.
Now the bad news. Lenders continue to tighten their requirements for most types of housing loans, and this is diminishing the pool of qualified buyers who can purchase the already bloated inventory of homes out here. Guess the banks are feeling burned by the foreclosures and short sales, so they are now being overly careful. However, they were the ones that underwrote the bad loans in the first place. So now they are making it harder for potentially good buyers to get loans to buy the homes that the banks are foreclosing on??? Oh well. I gave up trying to figure out why lenders keep shooting themselves in their feet a long time ago.
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