According to Freddie Mac, last week’s 30-year fixed mortgages averaged around 3.34%, which is down from the previous week when it averaged 3.35%. 15-year fixed rate mortgages last week averaged 2.64%, 0.7% down from the previous week. The 5-year Treasury-index hybrid adjustable rate mortgage jumped 0.6 % while the 1-year treasury index averaged 2.57 percent last week increasing 0.4% from the previous week. More here
2012’s final mortgage rate report showed that mortgage rates have fallen near record lows, keeping home prices low and home affordability at a significantly high percent. According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans dropped from 3.95% to 3.35% from this time last year, and 15-year fixed rate mortgage loans decreased 3.24% from one year ago. The 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid, showed that adjustable-rate mortgages are also lower than the 2.88% rate recorded last year. More here
According to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, the housing market is still standing strong while in a slower season. Economic activity has taken a slower pace over the last month with many doubts over the fiscal cliff. The recent decrease is not predicted to increase or track in to 2013. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist said, “we expect growth in the current quarter to moderate from the pace seen last quarter, on the bright side, the housing market has stayed resilient and continues to show signs of a strong, sustained recovery.” U.S mortgage rates are still close to historic lows, and home sales and prices are continuing to grow. More here
Last week’s National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) brought positive news about U.S. housing markets and the broader U.S. economy, in general.
According to the IMI, there are now 201 U.S. markets which can be considered “improving”.
To meet this standard, a local area economy must exhibit at least six consecutive months of improvement in terms of local employment, single-family housing permits and area home prices; and, at least six months must have passed since each of these readings were at their respective low points, called troughs.
The Improving Market Index added 76 metropolitan areas in December as compared to the month prior. 45 states are now represented on the list, in addition to the District of Columbia.
The cities deemed “improving” aren’t limited to recent, high-profile hot spots such as Detroit, Michigan; and Phoenix, Arizona, either. Several of the newly-included areas for December were :
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Bloomfield, Illinois
- Ithaca, New York
- Riverside, California
- Seattle, Washington
The geographic diversity of this month’s Improving Market Index suggests a nationwide economic recovery in progress. More jobs, a steady supply of available homes, plus rising home prices helps communities thrive.
Unfortunately, it may also mean less opportunity to buy homes as rock-bottom prices.
As sellers and home builders gain confidence in the economy, it may be more challenging for today’s Minneapolis buyers to get a “great deal”. In addition, an improving, post-recession economy will likely lead mortgage rates higher, robbing home buyers of their purchasing power.
Freddie Mac says that the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate is 3.32% nationwide. In a fully-recovered economy, that rate could be 5 percent or higher. The impact on monthly housing payments would be palpable.
The National Association of Homebuilders expects more markets to join the Improving Market Index list through 2013. Today’s home buyers may want to lock in today’s low rates before economic improvement leads mortgage rates higher.