Home Loan ‘Interest Rates’ Edge Higher Again

Mortgage rates inched higher for the third consecutive week, but potential home buyers shouldn’t sweat it too much. Mortgage rates are still hovering below levels from a year ago.

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

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.73 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.68 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.78 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.99 percent, with an average 0.4 point, increasing from last week’s 2.96 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.06 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.93 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.92 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.97 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

’15-Year Home Loan Rates’ Sink to New Low of 2.65%

Fixed-rate mortgages pushed lower for the fifth-consecutive week, with low mortgage rates further driving the housing recovery over the near term, says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered near its all-time record low, while 15-year rates set a new record.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending May 2, 2013:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.7 point, just shy of its 3.31 percent record set during the week of Nov. 21, 2012. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.84 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: sank to an all-time record low of 2.56 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s previous record of 2.61 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.07 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.56 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.58 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.85 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Home Owner Satisfaction Remains High!

Nearly three out of every four home owners say they are satisfied with their purchase – and the No. 1 reason for their satisfaction is pride they feel about owning a home, according to HomeGain’s 2012 National Home Ownership Survey.

In addition to pride, home owners also said they enjoy the freedom and control they have to make improvement and upgrades to their home. Positive thoughts like these reflect what we are hearing here in the “Sierra Foothills” region of Placerville, El Dorado County, California.

Of the 1,400 home owners surveyed nationwide, satisfaction was found to be highest in the Northeast at 77 percent, followed by the Southeast at 73 percent, the West at 71 percent, and the Midwest at 68 percent.

“The HomeGain 2012 National Home Ownership satisfaction survey shows in spite of declines in the values of homes nationwide, satisfaction among home owners remains high at 72 percent,” said Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain.

Source of data is Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine.

More information at: www.sierraproperties.com or email: zeller@realtor.com


Home Mortgage Applications Surge 23%

Record-low mortgage rates sparked a wave in mortgage applications for home purchase and refinancings last week, increasing more than 20 percent in a week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. 

for the week ending Jan. 13, mortgage applications for refinancing applications jumped 26.4 percent while home purchase applications, a future gauge for home buying, increased 10.3 percent.  

“With mortgage rates reaching new lows, refinance volume jumped,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. “Purchase activity also increased as buyers returned to the market after the holiday season.”

Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a record low of 3.89 percent for the week ending Jan. 12. For six consecutive weeks, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages — the most popular choice among home buyers — has averaged below 4 percent. 

Source: “Mortgage Applications Surge on Refinancing Demand,” Reuters (Jan. 18, 2012)

More news from the “Sierra Foothills” of El Dorado, Placer, Amador and Sacramento Counties of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com


Existing-Home Sales Continue to Climb!

The latest monthly data shows total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, increased 4.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million in November from 4.25 million in October, and are 12.2 percent above the 3.94 million-unit pace in November 2010.

Full article at: http://bit.ly/trTuv9 via @AddThis

More news from Placerville and the El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties regions of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com

Foreclosures Cause Wave of Poor Health?

More studies are pointing to how foreclosures can hurt home owner’s health. 

In the most recent study, home owners aged 50 and older who were unable to make their mortgage payments were found to have high rates of depression and a “higher likelihood of making unhealthy financial trade offs regarding food and needed prescription drugs,” according to the study, recently published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers found that nearly one-third of the home owners aged 50 or older who were delinquent on their mortgage reported fair or poor health, compared to 19 percent who were not delinquent. True in the Placerville, California regions and yours? Probably?

“More than a quarter of people in mortgage default or foreclosure are over 50,” says Dawn E. Alley, the study’s principle investigator. “For an older person with chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension, the types of health problems we saw are short-term consequences of falling behind on a mortgage that could have long-run implications for that person’s health.” 

An earlier study released this year, conducted by Princeton University and Georgia State University researchers, found that the higher the foreclosure rates, the more risks to your community’s health. Researchers had found that a higher number of foreclosures in Arizona, California, Florida, and New Jersey were found to coincide with a rise of stress-related health problems in those states, including an increase in the number of hospital visits for preventable conditions and increase in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for hypertension. 

Source: “A Health Crisis Follows Foreclosure Crisis,” Los Angeles Times (Oct. 25, 2011)

Attorney General Backs Out of Talks with Servicers

California AG Kamala Harris will no longer participate in talks with U.S. loan servicers on resolving mortgage-related issues, including robo-signing.

In a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Harris said her office will independently pursue the matter; her mortgage task force will continue to probe the foreclosure process from securitization and lending to servicing.

Harris said foreclosures continue to rise in her state, and the proposal under discussion would not allow enough Californians to keep their homes.

Source: “Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: California Attorney General Kamala Harris,” Housing Wire (Oct. 3, 2011)

Other Placerville, El Dorado County, California information at: www.dougandbudzeller.com

Will the S&P Downgrade Affect Home Interest Rates?

“The impact on your wallet of the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the nation’s credit rating is similar to what would happen if your own credit score declined: The cost of borrowing money is likely to go up,” the Washington Post explained in the aftermath of S&P’s decision. 

S&P downgraded the U.S.’s top-notch AAA credit rating for the first time in history, moving it down one notch to AA+; the rating reflects a downgrade in S&P’s confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to repay its debts over time. It’s not clear, however, whether S&P’s downgrade will instantly effect rates, analysts say.

Watch this VIDEO with NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun for more information: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1099485850001?bctid=1099472216001

More information at: “5 Ways the Downgrade in the U.S. Credit Rating Affects You,” The Washington Post (Aug. 8, 2011); Questions and Answers on Standard & Poor’s Downgrading of U.S. Federal Debt,” Associated Press (Aug. 6, 2011); and S&P Downgrade Will Shake Consumer and Business Confidence at a Fragile Time, Economists Say,” Associated Press (Aug. 6, 2011) 

Other articles relating to the Sacramento and Placerville, California regions at: www.sierraproperties.com

Google+ Tops 20 Million Visitors!

In just three weeks since its launch, Google+ has boasted 20 million unique visitors worldwide–more than 5 million in the United States alone–which has many saying that it’s poised to be Facebook’s biggest competitor. Google Inc.’s new social networking site has particularly impressed observers since access to it is still by invitation only, which means a current member has to send you an invitation in order for you to join. Google hasn’t yet unleashed Google+ to its more than 1 billion monthly visitors who use its search engine, Gmail, and other services.

Still, analysts acknowledge that Google+ has a long way to go before reaching Facebook’s 750 million users and even Twitter’s 200 million, but many are expecting it to give steep competition to both.

Google+ allows you to build a social “circle” of friends, easily separating out family and friends from work contacts, and then lets you share comments, articles, photos, and videos with your designated “circle” of friends or even the public. Google+ also boasts a “hangout” feature that lets you do video chats to several contacts simultaneously.

Google+ features will eventually be incorporated into services like YouTube and in Google’s suite of online software for businesses.

 Source: “Google+ Pulls in 20 Million in 3 Weeks,” The Wall Street Journal (July 22, 2011)

 Other articles relating to the Sacramento and Placerville, California regions at: www.sierraproperties.com


With a boost from the first-time homebuyer tax credit, the housing market may be headed for a sustainable recovery beginning in 2010, according to NAR’s latest forecast. NAR projects existing-home sales to be 5.01 million in 2009, up 2.0 percent from a year ago, before rising 13.6 percent to 5.69 million in 2010. New-home sales are also expected to rebound, rising from 397,000 in 2009 to 549,000 next year. First-time buyers are leading the recovery, accounting for 47 percent of all home sales over the past year, up from 41 percent from a year ago.

Home prices will begin to stabilize in 2010. “We’ve seen a steady downtrend in housing inventory for well over a year, and home prices appear to be in the early stages of stabilizing,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “With expansion of the tax credit to additional buyers through the middle of next year, and no major unforeseen events impacting the economy, home prices should rise between 3 percent and 5 percent in 2010, but with wide geographic differences,” Yun says.