Today, 3/10/11, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.88% (4.85% in the southeast), up from 4.87% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.15%, unchanged from 4.15% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 4.95%. Not much movement at all and very little effect on monthly payments.
Some of you may have heard that the latest unemployment figures were promising and this helped mortgage rates stay more-or-less unmoved from last week's figures. 222.000 jobs were created by the private sector in the USA and thatis the most since March of 2006. The official unemployment number was 8.9%. As low as it has been since April of 2009. On a side note, many foreign countries would kill to have a number that low!
Interest rates on 30 year fixed-rate mortgages have been at or below the 5% level for every week of 2011 except for one. Not bad! The National Association of REALTORS reported that the affordability index of housing was an all-time high during this past January. This due to lower home prices and low mortgage interest rates. Lots of bargains being grabbed up for sure.
Freddie Mac is also reporting that the number of applications for mortgages jumped 16% over the week ending on March 4th. The largest increase since June 2009.
All-in-all, pretty positive news for the real estate industry. Of course, we need a lot more to get us back to where we were. We did take quite a dive. But moving forward is never a bad thing, even if it is slow progress at times. Forward is always better than backward!
Here in Zephyrhills, the pace is getting almost too busy. Not quite, but almost. I am working with several buyers right now who are in the middle of buying homes. Several are purchasing foreclosed homes, but many others are buying winter residences where they can escape winter for a few months each year. So despite what is going on in other parts of the US, in Zephyrhills, good agents are moving homes for their sellers and buyers!
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.