Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey is reported in this Wall Street Journal article, as well as a statement from Frank Nothaft, a Freddie Mac economist. Mr. Nothaft says that this third consecutive week of decline may post a record annual low for the survey, which began in 1971. With talk of a possible extension of the Federal $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers, there are a lot of people out there looking at homes for a purchase in the near future.
Another trend that's being reported in housing media is one of down-sizing. The mega-mansions and very large homes for small families seem to be losing appeal, with home builders finding their growing markets in 1200 to 1800 square foot structures. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the housing bubble, though not a "pop," but a sustained deflation in home values over the last three years.
We're in a time of opportunity for home purchases at the lowest mortgage rates in many years. Buyers can take the information at hand, seeing the calamity of the last couple of years, and make decisions based on realistic expectations to balance out these low rates.
- Lower rates can mean lower payments instead of a larger home
- A sustained trend to smaller homes could mean better resale in the future
- Refinancing a home you own and like can lower payments, but doesn't need to finance other purchases
In today's housing market and stuttering economy, it's nice to have the stimulus of government credits and super low interest rates. And, if the situation provides you with opportunity to refinance or buy wisely, your financial future can look quite bright with lower expectations to go with the mortgage rates.