Sunday, March 08 2009
Here we have the latest changes in the interest rates of last week. We are still seeing historically low rates and long term speculation is that the Federal Government in Washington will lower rates further. We would also like to point out that new home buyers are entitled to a first time homebuyer tax credit of maximum $ 8,000.00. We have already seen an increase in the number of homes being sold and we are also seeing a decline in the month’s inventory index.
Mortgage rates were unchanged this week.
The average 30-year, fixed-rate remained unchanged at 5.41 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
This week's average 15-year fixed -- a popular option for refinancing -- edged up 1 basis point, to 4.94 percent.
The average jumbo 30-year fixed dropped 10 basis points, to 6.77 percent.
Adjustable-rate mortgages were down this week. The one-year, adjustable-rate mortgage fell 15 basis points, to 5.43 percent. The popular 5/1 ARM slipped 1 basis point, to 5.39 percent.
Mortgage loan application activity declined for the week ending Feb. 27. Applications dropped a seasonally adjusted 12.6 percent compared to a week earlier.
Refinancing activity slipped 15.3 percent while applications for new purchases fell 5.6 percent.
Meanwhile, pending home sales fell 7.7 percent in January to their lowest level since the National Association of Realtors began tracking these sales in 2001.
The Pending Home Sales Index is considered a forward-looking indicator because it is based on sales contracts signed in January that are likely to close no later than the end of March.
On a brighter note, the NAR says falling home values boosted housing affordability by 13.6 percent during the month to a record reading of 166.8.
The NAR Housing Affordability Index began in 1970. A value of 100 means families with the nation's median household income, $59,000, have just enough money to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a median-priced, $283,400, existing single-family home in the United States.