March 11, 2012
Housing reports continue to show improvement at the same time that low mortgage rates continue to remain intact. The current housing market conditions are favorable for consumers who wish to purchase and finance a home under very affordable circumstances. According to The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, new home sales increased more than expectations even after decreasing in December. The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales of existing homes increased 2% in January which was above the forecast of 1%. Mortgage rates have remained steady which is helping the housing market to slowly recover as shown by the latest reports. The most popular mortgage for a home purchase is the 30 year fixed mortgage with rates which remain at 3.500%. The 15 year fixed mortgage with rates at 2.875% has been most popular with refinances. Some consumers, especially short term home buyers, are opting for the 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage which is at 2.250%. With good credit, these lowest mortgage rates are available with 0.7 to 1% origination. Lenders also examine employment, income and assets for a pattern of consistent behavior by borrowers. Mortgage refinances to a lower mortgage rate are now available with Harp 2.0 which offers easier guidelines and does not require an appraisal under most circumstances. This mortgage program is specifically designed for underwater borrowers.