Home Loan Interest Rates Climb to 2016 High

Fixed-rate mortgages were once again on the way up this week, marking the sixth consecutive month for increases. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular option among home buyers, reached a new high for the year.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 8:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.13 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 4.08 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.95 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.34 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.19 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates at Highest Averages of 2016

As we expected, for the fifth consecutive week, average fixed mortgage rates edged higher. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now averaging above 4 percent.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 1:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.08 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.03 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.34 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.25 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.16 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Down Payment Gift? Better Watch Out!

Many first-time home buyers receive down payment assistance from a family member or close friend, but they may not realize there are specific guidelines they must follow when they take money from others for a home purchase.

Buyers will need a gift letter from the person or persons who gave them the money. The person who gifted your buyer the money will need to state on paper that he or she does not plan on asking for the money back in return and that it is, indeed, a gift.

“The gift letter is very serious,” says Casey Fleming, mortgage adviser and author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.” “While it is doubtful that a lender would ever audit a file after the fact to see if the recipient is paying the donor back, if the transaction goes bad, you might very well find yourself with a subpoena in your hand.” Remember, you cannot lie on a mortgage application. It’s a felony.

Source: “Getting a Down Payment as a Gift? Avoid the Mistakes That Could Mess You Up,” realtor.com® (Nov. 28, 2016)

Home Loan Interest Rates Are Nearing 4%

Fixed-rate mortgages are climbing following a post-selection sell-off in the Treasury Market.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Nov. 17:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.57 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.18 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Modern vs. Contemporary: Which Is It?

Make sure property descriptions are accurate. Luxury homes described as modern and those described as contemporary can vary in price by about $275,000, according to a realtor.com® analysis of luxury homes. Defining these two styles has proven tricky and often get used interchangeably.

John Stewart, residential committee chair of the American Institute of Architects, describes a modern home and décor as having simple lines. He says modern homes tend to have a “stripped-down” aesthetic, often with cube-shaped structures, flat roofs, monochromatic color palettes, low-key furnishings, and those that often incorporate exposed steel and concrete.

On the other hand, contemporary homes often combine materials and bright colors, says Sheila Schmitz, editor of Houzz, a home design website. Contemporary homes may feature a black-and-white color palette, interiors baked in natural light, and floorplans that make the indoor-outdoor connection seamless.

Source: “Modern or Contemporary: What’s the Difference in Home Styles?” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 10, 2016)

Home Owners Get More Realistic on Prices

Home owners’ perceptions of the value of their homes are starting to get closer in line to the opinions of appraisers.

The latest Quicken Loans Home Price Perceptions Index shows that the average appraisal was 1.15 percent lower than home owners’ expectations. In September, appraised values were 1.26 percent lower than home owner expectations — so the gap is narrowing between the two. This is the fourth consecutive month the index has moved closer in line between home owner and appraiser estimates.

View charts of the breakdown across the U.S. of home value expectations between appraisers versus home owners at: Quicken Loans

Home Loan Rates Move to Higher Averages

Fixed-rate mortgages headed up this week, reaching their highest averages since early summer.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Nov. 3:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.54 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.47 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.87 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.84 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 2.78 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.09 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Home Loan Interest Rates Recede to Near-Record Lows

Great news! “Mortgage rates continue to be relatively stable and at near record lows,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 5 basis points week-over-week to 3.47 percent, erasing last week’s increase. At the same time, the 10-year Treasury yield ended the week relatively flat — up about 2 basis points.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Oct. 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.47 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping 5 basis points from 3.52 percent last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.76 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 2.79 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.98 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

 

When Home Additions Hurt and Help Resale

The 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features analyzes 10 common outdoor remodeling projects and found which ones are likely to add the most value to a home at resale. The study by the National Association of REALTORS® and National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) looked at at the reasons why home owners complete outdoor remodeling projects, the value of taking on such projects, and the increased happiness experienced by home owners once a project is completed.

Read the story by REALTOR® Magazine here or download the full report for more information. For highlights from the report, you can also download this infographic.

Home Loan Interest Rates Surge to 4-Month High

For the second week, mortgage rates moved higher. This time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched above 3.5 percent for the first time since June.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Oct. 20:

’30-year fixed-rate’ mortgages: averaged 3.52 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.47 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.79 percent.

’15-year fixed-rate’ mortgages: averaged 2.79 percent, with an average 0.5 point, also rising from last week’s 2.76 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.98 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac