Today, 4/29/10, Freddie Mac reported that the average mortgage interest rate for 30 year fixed-rate mortgages was 5.06% (5.00% in the southeast), down from 5.07% a week ago. The average interest rate for 15 year fixed-rate mortgages was 4.39%, unchanged from last week. A year ago the 30 year rate was 4.78%.
For the past four months mortgage interest rates for 30 year fixed-rate loans have hovered right around the 5% mark. Historically very low. This level is almost exactly the way things were throughout 2009. The low rates have worked to moderate the drop in home prices as they made buying a home more attractive. Lower rates mean more people can buy homes, and thus competition for the homes out there increases. That often means that the prices stop falling, and may even increase in some markets. Supply and demand strike again!
Prices on existing homes showed a 12 month increase of 0.7% in February, and that was the first annual increase since December of 2006. Seems like ages ago.
Freddie Mac also said that "the Census Bureau's Constant Quality price index showed that new home prices rose 2.5% in the first quarter (of 2010) on an annual basis."
News reports and market surveys continue to show that, little-by-little, it would appear that things are turning around. We got into this mess over several years, and it will take more than a few months to get things turned around. The good news is that finally it looks like our economy is going in the right direction overall.
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.