On November 19, 2009 Freddie Mac recorded an average 30 year mortgage rate at 4.83%, down from 4.91% the previous week. Just over one year ago, the 30 year mortgage rate averaged 6.04%. So long as you have solid credit and a 20% down payment, whether real estate investor or homeowner, this time in history is certain to mark historic lows for home buying. In addition, those who still have equity in their property can take advantage of an incredible refinance opportunity.
Mortgage companies have seen steady rises in applications for refinance, but certainly not at the volumes seen just two years ago. Why isn’t everyone flocking to refinance? The answer is quite simple, homeowner appraisals are often below the requirements needed to refinance and many homeowners are dealing with loss of income due to unemployment or wage cutbacks. The only solution is for the economy to pick up and create more jobs along with more competition for increased wages. Unfortunately such a task, although eventually likely, is not in the near future. Economists across the nation are predicting additional declines in jobs during the first quarter of 2010. Job creation is likely to remain slow during most of 2010.
Yet there is still a silver lining to the doom and gloom. It is likely that the federal government will do all they can to keep interest rates low up until actual job creation becomes more robust. Interest rate hikes over the next 6 to 9 months will only occur if outside-international influences force the hand of our financial markets to increase rates. Although a remote chance of this exists, I for one believe we have another year of healthy-low interest rates within the real estate market. Once rates do inch up it is likely to be welcome, so long as inflation remains tame and not hyper.