A Rare Balance: Mortgage Rates Hit a New Low, Home Prices Remain Stable.
I realize this isn’t the season that most folks choose to move. Kids are settled into classrooms, ‘bad weather’ season is on its way in most parts of the country, and the holidays are creeping up fast. I get all that, I do. But here’s the thing… No one is sure how long these ridiculously low mortgage rates (see stats below) can last.
In addition to falling interest rates, home prices here in Arizona at least, have held steady for the past 6 to 8 weeks and with the approaching holiday season, are expected to remain so until January. Investors are taking advantage of static home prices and low interest rates, and as your home will likely be one of your largest and most essential investments, you really should think about doing the same. All indications point to now being a brilliant time to buy a home.
Awhile back, mortgage rates around 4% were a concession on the part of The Federal Reserve, a contribution if you will, to prop up our newly recuperating Real Estate market. It worked. The market is back on track and in many if not most areas of the country, completely recovered and thriving. This is the point at which the Fed could reasonably be expected to exert their influence and put upward pressure on our mortgage interest rates again. But they have not. One possible reason is that employment numbers have not made the gains the Fed was looking for.
I’ve found the interest rate segment of this equation to be a pleasant surprise and would love to see low mortgage interest rates become the norm, but I am under no illusion that this could possibly survive a whole lot longer. Rates are bound to rise, and fairly soon.
Mortgage rates overall reached the basement this week, with the 30-year, fixed rate averaging 3.78 percent, a decrease from 3.82 percent the previous week, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The 15-year, fixed rate averaged 3.08 percent, down from 3.12 percent the week prior, while the 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate averaged 3.15 percent, up from 3.14 percent the week prior.
“The 10-year Treasury yield fell nine basis points this week, reaching a new 2017 low for a second consecutive week,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “The 30-year mortgage rate followed, dropping four basis points to a year-to-date low of 3.78 percent.”
The movement of mortgage rates is related, to an extent, to the movement of the key interest rate, which is set by the Federal Reserve and will be voted on at its quarterly meeting in September. Employment data for August suggest the key rate, and mortgage rates, as a result, will stay low.
“It has been a humdrum economy so far this year, seesawing between good to tolerable, yet certainly not great,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in a statement on the August jobs report. “Nonetheless, the 12-month job gains total still tops 2 million, and that will likely grow household formation and home-buying demand. The job figures…assures that interest rates will remain low for a longer period.”
Source: Freddie Mac. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.
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Bill Salvatore / Arizona Elite Properties
Residential Sales, Marketing, and Property Management
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