Today 12/31/09, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.14% (5.16% in the southeast), up from 5.05% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.54%, up from 4.45% last week. A year ago the average 30 year rate was 5.10%.
Even though the rates went up this week, they are still way below what they were at their peak in May of 2000 when they sat at 8.6%. So we cannot cry too much. The question is, will you move now or gamble on the rates going down again? They were so low just a short time ago yet many people hesitated just a little too long.
Also keep in mind that the tax credits that are now available to many of you first-time buyers and those who already own homes will be expiring quicker than you think. So you could be caught in a situation where you cannot get a tax credit of several thousands of dollars, you will be paying a higher interest rate for the life of your mortgage, and home prices could creep higher. Does that sound like something you will enjoy?
Home affordability is still at one of its best points in history for many reasons. But only you can decide if now is the time for you to buy a residence. Just make sure that you have done your homework well so that you make the right decision for your particular situation. Don't be shut out if, in the end, you want that new home and can afford to get it. Next year, conditions may not be as favorable for buyers. As we all know, the future is a tricky thing to predict.
Nationally, home prices rose for the 5th straight month in October to the highest point since January 2009.
Do keep in mind that we are a very large country. So data that comes 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.