Thursday, May 31, 2018

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise?

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise?
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise? | Keeping Current Matters
Mortgage interest rates have increased by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year. They are projected to increase by an additional half of a point by year’s end. Because of this increase in rates, some are guessing that home prices will depreciate.  However, some prominent experts in the housing industry doubt that home values will be negatively impacted by the rise in rates.

Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist:

“Understanding the resiliency of the housing market in a rising mortgage rate environment puts the likely rise in mortgage rates into perspective – they are unlikely to materially impact the housing market…
The driving force behind the increase are healthy economic conditions…The healthy economy encourages more homeownership demand and spurs household income growth, which increases consumer house-buying power. Mortgage rates are on the rise because of a stronger economy and our housing market is well positioned to adapt.”

Terry Loebs, Founder of Pulsenomics:

“Constrained home supply, persistent demand, very low unemployment, and steady economic growth have given a jolt to the near-term outlook for U.S. home prices. These conditions are overshadowing concerns that mortgage rate increases expected this year might quash the appetite of prospective home buyers.”

Laurie Goodman, Codirector of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute:

“Higher interest rates are generally positive for home prices, despite decreasing affordability…There were only three periods of prolonged higher rates in 1994, 2000, and the ‘taper tantrum’ in 2013. In each period, home price appreciation was robust.”
Industry reports are also calling for substantial home price appreciation this year. Here are three examples:

Bottom Line

As Freddie Mac reported earlier this year in their Insights Report, “Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing,”
“As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

Friday, May 25, 2018

MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE

 
I have always found it strange to wish someone a Happy Memorial Day and I can never bring myself to say those words.  Yes, we all look forward to the first long weekend that marks the unofficial beginning of summer and the first barbecue of the season, picnic, trip to the lake... or the Indy 500.  But, while all of those things make Memorial Day weekend a fun time, we need to remember the real meaning of Memorial Day.  As we enjoy time with family and friends, let us be sure to take time to honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we cherish.    


As we remember those who died in service to our country, let us give thanks to those who are serving now and to all our Veterans for their past service to our country. 
----------------------------------- 

On a personal note, in September 2017 my husband and I attended the 50th reunion of his United States Marine Corps Officers Basic School Class.  As we gathered with his Marine Corps brothers, the bond was strong, as memories were shared, and those who are no longer with us were remembered.  Memorial Day has a special meaning for these men and it is with heavy hearts that they remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.


SEMPER FI

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?

Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say:
“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week.
Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.”

But what do gas prices have to do with interest rates?

Investopedia explains the relationship like this:
“The price of oil and inflation are often seen as being connected in a cause-and-effect relationship. As oil prices move up or down, inflation follows in the same direction.”
You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially more expensive in recent months. The average national gas price has climbed nearly $0.50 from the beginning of the year, leading to the highest price for Memorial Day weekend since 2014.
As rates go up, your purchasing power goes down, but don’t worry; rates are still well below the averages we’ve seen over the last four decades.
“Freddie Mac said this year’s higher rates have not yet caused much of a ripple in the strong demand levels for buying a home seen in most markets, but inflationary pressures and the prospect of rates approaching 5 percent could begin to hit the psyche of some prospective buyers.”
Buying sooner rather than later will help lock in a lower rate than waiting, as the experts believe rates will continue to climb. Even a small increase in interest rates can have a big impact on your monthly housing cost.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on buying a home this year, keep an eye on gas prices the next time you’re at the pump. If you start to feel a big jump in price, know that rates are probably on their way up too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 4.61%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history!
The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.
Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.
The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a home within the national median price range while keeping your principal and interest payments between $1,850-$1,900 a month.
How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power | Keeping Current Matters
With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Home Inspections: What to Expect

Home Inspections: What to Expect 
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Oftentimes, agents make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.
This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. HGTV recommends that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
  1. Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
  2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
  3. References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to ask about their experiences.
  4. Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that continued training and education are provided.
  5. Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.
Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.
 
Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more!

Bottom Line

They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money into a home of your own. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

SCCL TRAIL MAPS

The following information was shared by FirstService Residential in their April 27, 2018 Friday Flash.  The links go to the SCCL website.

Trails Maps
Thanks to the Trails Sub-Committee and friends, color booklet-like SCCL Trail Maps are now available for purchase at the Lake House front desk. They are being sold at cost, for $3.  SCCL residents can also download a copy from the website and print at home.
A special thank you to Jerry Burtcher for sharing his map drawings with the Association.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SUMMIT HOMES UPDATE 4/24/18

The link below is an update for the Summit homes collection at Sun City Carolina Lakes.  It includes information about currently active listings, homes currently under contract, and homes that have closed since March 1, 2018.  While the information is for anyone interested in Summit homes, it has been created specifically for the Grey Hawk neighborhood, highlighting Grey Hawk homes that are currently listed.  If you are interested in receiving regular updates on any particular collection of SCCL homes (Manor, Summit, River, Villa, or Carriage Homes), or a general update on the community, or if you would like a personalized property search, please contact me.  

CLICK HERE:  SUMMIT HOMES UPDATE
You can download and/or print this document from the above link, however, feel free to contact me if you would like me to send you a copy as an attachment.  
NOT INTENDED TO SOLICIT BUYERS OR SELLERS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT WITH A BROKERAGE

Please note that you can always go to the PROPERTY SEARCH tab above for links to preset searches for both single family homes and Villas & Carriage Homes, or go to the UP-TO-DATE STATS FOR SCCL tab above to check out a variety of stats for all of Sun City Carolina Lakes.  Stats for currently active, under contract, and recently closed properties are updated daily.  The interactive graphs for New Listings, Homes for Sale, Pending Sales, Closed Sales, Average Days on Market, Months Supply of Homes for Sale, Average List to Close Days, and Average Percent of Original Price are updated monthly.

Friday, April 20, 2018

HOME BUYING MYTHS SLAYED (INFOGRAPHIC)

Information below courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Home Buying Myths Slayed [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:


  • The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!
  • Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers.
  • 88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months!
  • The credit score requirements for mortgage approval continue to fall.

Monday, April 16, 2018

GETTING PRE-APPROVED SHOULD ALWAYS BE YOUR FIRST STEP

Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:
  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

A TALE OF TWO MARKETS

The generalized information contained in the infographic below is based on stats provided by the National Association of REALTORS® and is not specific to a particular area.  
 
Remember that every market is different and sales in one community may vary greatly from other nearby communities.  For the most current stats for Sun City Carolina Lakes, click HERE.

A TALE OF TWO MARKETS
INFOGRAPHIC courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/the KCM Blog
A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices!
  • Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
  • Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

JUST LISTED!

Looking for a home with an amazing view?   This is the one you've been waiting for!
Check out the VIRTUAL TOUR.

This gorgeous Surrey Crest with a spectacular view of Carolina Lakes 11th fairway offers a serene sanctuary for the most discriminating buyer. Enjoy fabulous views from the beautiful MBR, office, and bright and airy sunroom.  The custom paved patio with a charming pond is the perfect place to relax and enjoy beautiful sunsets and an amazing golf course view. This is the only single level home on the golf course side of a double cul-de-sac. Features include hardwood flooring throughout with tile in bathrooms and sunroom, plantation shutters, a custom TV cabinet in the family room, and custom storage cabinets in the garage. Searching for a special place to live?  This is the one you've been waiting for!  Come LIVE THE DREAM at Sun City Carolina Lakes and enjoy all the beautiful amenities and diverse activities this premier active adult community has to offer! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Be Thankful You Don't Have to Pay Your Parents' Interest Rate!

Here's a great message for those concerned over rising interest rates... especially those younger first-time home buyers.  Granted, even small increases will affect your monthly payment and that's what is most important when you're analyzing how much of a home you can afford.  So, as interest rates start going up, moving ahead with making a purchase sooner, rather than later, is a prudent move, if you are in a position to do so.  That being said, this article gives a great perspective on interest rates over the past 45 years.  



Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
3/28/18
 
Be Thankful You Don't Have to Pay Your Parents' Interest Rate!

Be Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Your Parents’ Interest Rate! | Keeping Current MattersInterest rates hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, which gave many buyers relief from rising home prices and helped with affordability. In the first quarter of 2018, rates have increased from 3.95% up to 4.45% and experts predict that rates will increase even more by the end of the year.

The rate you secure greatly impacts your monthly mortgage payment and the amount you will ultimately pay for your home. Don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year.

Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.

Be Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Your Parents’ Interest Rate! | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

Friday, March 23, 2018

LANCASTER ANIMAL SHELTER SUPPORTERS FUNDRAISER LUNCHEON


Raffle tickets for dinner at the 4-star Gallery Restaurant in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte with transportation in a classic Rolls Royce are available for $10 each or 3 for $25.
Note that transportation is between Sun City Carolina Lakes
(or other nearby communities) and the restaurant.


Hand-sewn queen-size quilt made by Darlene Hallman
Raffle tickets: $1 each or 6 for $5
Last year's LASS luncheon was a huge success - we raised $13,000!  If you would be interested in getting tickets for this year's luncheon and/or raffle tickets, please contact me.   Tables of 8 may be reserved, otherwise it is open seating.
 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In


After our first visit to Sun City Carolina Lakes in 2010, my husband and I decided that the lifestyle at Sun City Carolina Lakes would be perfect for us. But, we wondered how long we should wait to make it happen.  The question we finally asked ourselves was, "If not now, when?" and in 2012 we decided NOW was the right time. Even though we hadn't yet put our Arizona home on the market, we purchased our home and then "visited" it a couple of times a year until we made the big move in 2014. Our adult sons thought we were nuts for leaving our home and friends of 38 years back in Arizona, but we knew that this is where we wanted to be. While they originally believed SCCL was "training wheels" on the road toward assisted living, our sons quickly realized that "ACTIVE" was the key word in this "55+ active adult community." Being closer to family was definitely a very important part of our decision to move, but moving to a place where we could "live the dream" was the key factor.  We've now been here full-time for a little over 3 years and we have absolutely no regrets.  In fact, like so many others, we now ask ourselves why we waited so long to make the move. 
 
As people nearing retirement age start to consider their options about staying where they are or making a move, there are some very important things to think about.  Everyone must look at their own situation as they begin the decision-making process. This great article by Keeping Current Matters suggests 7 things to consider and I would suggest one more... #8 (perhaps a subtopic under #7) Availability to Healthcare Services.  After reviewing all 8 Factors, allow yourself the luxury of dreaming about how and where you would want to spend your retirement years.  Start looking at your options and then ask yourself, "If not now, when?"


7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

3/14/18
7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In | Keeping Current MattersAs more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.
According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.

1. Affordability


“It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.
Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity


“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”
The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $14,000 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance


“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”
As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security


“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”
As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets


“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”
Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility


“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”
Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience


“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”
How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, contact a local real estate professional who can evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

HOME PRICES: THE DIFFERENCE 5 YEARS MAKES

I always like to remind everyone that the answer to the question, "How's the real estate market?" usually requires an answer that is specific to a local area such as a town, subdivision, or even a neighborhood.  That being said, it can also be helpful to look at the bigger picture over an extended period of time to see how the country as a whole is doing.  The article below shares a great overview of the national recovery in terms of home appreciation following the recession that began in 2007.  

For those who are interested in specific market information for Sun City Carolina Lakes, I encourage you to visit my website often for up-to-date stats for SCCL and for property searches for SCCL and other nearby communities (including TreeTops and Carolina Orchards).  If you would like to stay current on our market, contact me for a personalized search with auto-updates.

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes
Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
3/7/18


The economists at CoreLogic recently released a special report entitled, Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession. The goal of the report was to look at economic recovery since the Great Recession of December 2007 through June 2009.
One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from December 2012 to December 2017 to show how prices over the last five years have fared.
 
Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, commented on the importance of breaking out the data by state,
“Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011. After finally reaching bottom in 2011, home prices began a slow rise back to where we are now.
Greater demand and lower supply – as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels.”
The map below was created to show the 5-year appreciation from December 2012 – December 2017 by state.
Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | Keeping Current Matters
Nationally, the cumulative appreciation over the five-year period was 37.4%, with a high of 66% in Nevada, and a modest increase of 5% in Connecticut.

Where were prices expected to go?

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

According to the December 2012 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 23.1% by December 2017. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 33.6%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%.

Where are prices headed in the next 5 years?

Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 18.2% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 27.4%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 8.3%.

Bottom Line

Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even higher than before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, contact a local real estate professional who can help!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

LANCASTER ANIMAL SHELTER SUPPORTERS UPDATE

As you may know, I proudly serve on the Board of LASS (Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters), and today I'd like to take this opportunity to give LASS a plug.   

LASS' mission is to provide volunteer support and funding for stray and unwanted dogs and cats received by the grossly underfunded and understaffed Lancaster County Animal Shelter.  

LASS was recently invited to attend an event to view the airing of a special episode of CBS TV's Lucky Dog, sponsored by Nutramax Laboratories, at the Springs House in Lancaster. The event was attended by Nutramax company executives, local officials, and two animal-rescue groups (LASS and the Lancaster SPCA), who received generous donations.

In this episonde, a rescued poodle-terrier puppy was trained by show host, Brandon McMillan, and given to a Nutramax employee who has been battling cancer.    

Please visit the LASS website to read a complete article about the event.

On May 12th, LASS will be holding its 3rd annual Luncheon & Fashion Show Fundraiser at The Ivy Place in Lancaster.  Last year's event raised $13,000 for the shelter.  Tickets to the luncheon fundraiser, which will include a silent auction, raffle prizes, and local vendors, are $40.  If interested, please contact me

Friday, March 2, 2018

Mortgage Rates Just Got Higher Again


 
For the eighth consecutive week, borrowing costs were on the rise.
“Optimistic testimony on Capitol Hill from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sent Treasury yields higher as Powell stated his outlook for the economy has strengthened since December,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Following Treasurys, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped 3 basis points to reach 4.43 percent in this week’s survey. The 30-year rate has been on a tear in 2018, climbing 48 basis points since the start of the year.”

Kiefer continues that historically when mortgage rates rise, the housing market teeters, but he doesn’t foresee that happening this time around.

“We think strength in the economy and pent-up housing demand should allow U.S. housing markets to post modest growth this year even with higher mortgage rates,” Kiefer says. “We really have to wait for housing markets to heat up in the spring, but early indications are that housing demand remains robust to these rate increases.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 1:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.43 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.40 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.10 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.85 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.32 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.62 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 3.65 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.14 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac