Rates are low and now is the time to buy!!

Rates are low and now is the time to buy!!

June 29, 2010

Original Article Published 6.21.2010 by NAHB

For Americans looking to achieve the dream of homeownership, today’s historically low mortgage interest rates make this a great time to buy a home.

Currently, 30 year, fixed mortgage rates are below five percent, according to Freddie Mac-among the lowest rates recorded in 40 years. As recently as June 2007, those rates were around 6.75 percent, and they were in the double-digits a little over 20 years ago.

Why are interest rates so low? Much of it is due to the recent recession and its aftermath. With the economy in the dumps, demand for loans fell sharply. At the same time, investors sought safe places for their money, moving away from stocks and towards fixed-return investments such as U.S. treasury securities and mortgages. Also, the Federal Reserve increased funds in the financial system to keep interest rates low and to support the mortgage market. The combination of a weak loan demand and the influx of funds translated into low interest rates on mortgages and other loans.

Since mid-2009, the U.S. economy has gotten better, as seen in improved gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and in declining unemployment rates. Although the economy is still in the early stages of a recovery, the expectation is that interest rates will eventually move higher.

All of this means that now is a great time for home buyers, but this opportunity will not last forever.

As the U.S. economy rebounds, demand for loans will rise. When the Federal Reserve sees that the economy is in better shape, it will take away the additional liquidity it has injected into the financial markets. Investors will move away from fixed-income assets such as mortgages. All this means that interest rates will rise in the not too distant future.

When interest rates go up, the effect on monthly payments can be dramatic. A $200,000, 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage with a five percent rate has a monthly payment of $1,074. At six percent the monthly payments increase to $1,199-an increase of $125 a month. Total interest payments over the life of the loan increase by a whopping $45,165!

Home buyers who are waiting for prices to drop further could be making a costly mistake. Using the example above, if loan rates went up to six percent, the home’s price would have to go down 10 percent-to $189,000- to maintain the same monthly mortgage payment. House prices have stabilized or even started to inch upwards in many markets, and it is unlikely prices will drop that much.

Low mortgage rates and affordable house prices will not last forever. The longer you wait means you might have to pay more to achieve your dream of homeownership. To find out more information about buying a home, contact your local Homebuilders Association.

Konter Quality Homes agents stay up-to-date on industry news.  Contact one of our agents today to learn all you need to know about purchasing a home and the associated benefits, like tax deductions and the recent tax credit extension for example.

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