Today, 3/17/2011, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.76% (4.74% in the southeast), down from 4.88% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 3.97%, down from 4.15% last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 4.96%. The 15 year fixed-rate interest is the lowest since December 2010.
Hard to believe it, but because of the terrible disaster in Japan, people here rushed to buy US Treasury Bonds. This caused their yields to drop, which made loan interest rates fall, and of course, mortgage rates played "follow-the-leader". In our modern age, world economies are all tied together in one way or another. And what happens halfway around the world can affect us very quickly. Just look at the unrest in Libya and what happened to oil that was already here!!!
Freddie Mac spokespersons went on to say, "In aggregate, families have been strengthening their balance sheets. In the fourth quarter of 2010, household net worth rose by $2.1 trillion, boosted by gains in the stock market. This helped lower their financial obligation ratio (debt payments relative to disposable income) to the lowest level since the first quarter of 1995."
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 and getting some GREAT deals. And many others are buying winter residences where they can escape the cold weather 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.