Falling mortgage rates make owning a home more affordable. Mortgage rates are directly tied to monthly mortgage payment so as mortgage rates drop, so does the cost of home-ownership.
It’s a money-saving time to buy a home in the North Georgia Mountains — or to refinance one. Mortgage rates have never been this low in history.
According to Freddie Mac, last week, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.87% nationwide for borrowers willing to pay an accompanying 0.8 discount points plus closing costs. 0.8 discount points is a one-time closing cost equal to 0.8 percent of your loan size, or $800 per $100,000 borrowed. This represents an incredible value as compared to February of last year. Read the rest of this entry »
This week, once more, we find mortgage rates are on a downward trajectory. Conforming mortgage rates have returned to near all-time lows. After Friday morning’s Non-Farm Payrolls report, however, those low rates may come to an end.
It’s a risky time for North Georgia Home Buyers and would-be refinancers to be without a locked rate.
Each month, on the first Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Non-Farm Payrolls report for the month prior. More commonly called the “jobs report”, Non-Farm Payrolls provides a sector-by-sector employment breakdown, and the nation’s Unemployment Rate. In December 2011, the government reported 200,000 net new jobs created, and an Unemployment Rate of 8.5%.
For January 2012, economists project 135,000 net new jobs with no change in the Unemployment Rate and, depending on how accurate those predictions are proved, FHA and conforming mortgage rates for homes in Blue Ridge Mountains are subject to change. The monthly jobs reports tends to have an out-sized influence on the direction of daily mortgage rates.
The connection between jobs and mortgage rates is fairly direct.
Job growth is a key cog in the economic growth engine and mortgage rates change daily based on short- and long-term economic expectation. As more people join the workforce, economic expectations change; the economy tends to expand, breeding optimism among investment. When this occurs, it often spurs investment in the stock market, which tends to leads mortgage rates up. Read the rest of this entry »
Standard & Poors released its November 2011 Case-Shiller Index this week. The index measures the change in home prices from month-to-month, and year-to-year, in select U.S. cities.
According to the data, for the second straight month, home values fell in 19 of the Case-Shiller Index’s 20 tracked markets. In addition, also for the second straight month, Phoenix, Arizona was the lone Case-Shiller-tracked city in which home values rose.
Overall, November’s Case-Shiller Index showed a 1 percent decrease in home values between October and November 2011, and a near-4 percent decrease between November 2010 and 2011, putting home values at roughly the same levels as 8 years ago. Don’t read too far into it, however. Read the rest of this entry »
New Home Sales slowed into the New Year but the market for newly-built homes remains strong. For home buyers in North Georgia and nationwide, December’s New Home Sales report is yet one more signal that the housing market recovery may be underway.
According to the Census Bureau, the number of new homes sold in December 2011 slipped 2 percent to 307,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis nationwide.
A “new home” is a home that is considered new construction; a home for which the buyer will be the first owner and tenant.
As compared to December 2010, last months’ sales volume fell seven percent. It’s a statistic that suggests housing market weakness. However, in looking at a different component of the New Home Sales report — the supply of homes for sale — we’re forced to reconsider.
At the current pace of sales, every new home for sale nationwide would be “sold” in a matter of 6.1 months.
Economists believe that a 6.0-month supply defines a market in balance — anything quicker is termed a “seller’s market”. Statistics like that are enough to create urgency among today’s Blue Ridge and Blairsville Home Buyers.
Unfortunately, the Census Bureau’s data may be wrong. Read the rest of this entry »