Low mortgage rates continue: Is it the right time to buy?

It’s in the news and on the minds of most everyone involved in the business of buying and selling homes: mortgage rates. It’s true, as the economy shows encouraging signs of growth, mortgage rates remain at an all-time low. Freddie Mac lists a few facts that contribute to why buying a home looks as attractive as it does right now. The following numbers are for the week ending March 1, 2012:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.90 percent. Last year at this time the 30-year FRM averaged 4.87 percent.
  • 15-year FRM averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent.
  • Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.83 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 3.72 percent.
  • One-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.72 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 3.23 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, these numbers show that mortgage rates are staying near their 60-year lows, which positively impacts home affordability. While it’s true that you should be prepared to answer more questions now than you would have if you were seeking a loan in 2008 and have your credit score analyzed more carefully, “it’s not as hard as it sounds,” Kenton Brown, president of the Austin Mortgage Bankers Association explained in a recent interview with Impact News. “It is more difficult than it was four years ago. Then, you had a fog and mirror, and you got a loan. But 10 years ago, this wasn’t unusual.” Brown went on to say that mortgage lenders and insurers alike are beginning to provide support more readily for potential home buyers.

press release issued by the Austin Board of REALTORS® last month stated that January of 2012 saw 1,051 single-family homes sold, which is 10 percent more than January 2011. In many cases, the price is right for folks to make the move from renting to buying an Austin home.

To learn more about whether now may be the right time for you to buy a home in Austin, talk with your Central Texas REALTOR® or find a REALTOR® on AustinHomeSearch.com.


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