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At Home in Louisville Real Estate Blog

Mortgage Rates Fall to Record Lows

This just in from the Washington Post:

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.57 percent this week, Freddie Mac reported this morning. That's down just a hundredth of a percentage point from last week's average rate, but it marks the third consecutive week of record-setting lows for the most popular type of home loan. Freddie Mac has been tracking this rate for 39 years.

The 5/1 hybrid loans that are fixed for five years and then convert to an annual rate-adjustment schedule also hit a new low, 3.75 percent. Freddie started tracking that series in 2005.

Mortgages fixed for 15 years rose to 4.07 percent from last week's 4.04 percent. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages pegged to the Treasury index averaged 3.75 percent this week, down from last week's 3.8 percent.

The amount of up-front interest, called points, has remained steady for many weeks, averaging 0.7 point for each type of mortgage. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount, and a loan with higher points typically carries a lower interest rate.

If you are thinking about buying (or even refinancing), this certainly merits consideration. Who knows how long they will stay this low?

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Federal Tax Credit Filing Deadline Extended

Good news! According to the Federal Housing Tax Credit website:

For home purchases where a binding sales contract was signed by April 30, 2010, otherwise qualified buyers now have until September 30, 2010 to complete the purchase. Congress has extended the closing date to provide buyers who had binding sales contracts in place by April 30, 2010, additional time to complete their purchases.

Chances are that if you had secured a contract on a new home by April 30 and are hoping to qualify for the tax credit, you already know this, but if not, we just made your day!



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Data Show Housing Market Is Improving

As reported today in the Associated Press, the overall outlook for the national real estate market -- including Louisville -- remains positive and continues to get more so:

"The U.S. housing market has started to recover from the most far-reaching crisis since the Great Depression, data released Thursday show.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose for the third month in a row in June, the National Association of Realtors reported. That hasn't happened since early 2004, during the boom.

"The turnaround in the housing market appears finally to be here and indeed may be gaining some speed," wrote Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors Inc.

Stocks jumped on the news, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising above 9,000 for the first time since early January.

Home sales rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million last month, from a downwardly revised paceof 4.72 million in May. Sales were up in all four regions of the country.

It was the highest level of sales since last October and beat economists' expectations. Sales had been expected to rise to an annual pace of 4.84 million units, according to Thomson Reuters.

In another encouraging sign, the share of foreclosures on the market is shrinking. About one out of three homes sold in June was foreclosure-related, down from nearly half earlier this year.

And the glut of homes up for sale dwindled to 3.8 million. That's a 9.4-month supply at the current sales pace and another important sign of a recovery. When the market balances at a 7-month supply prices should begin to stabilize, the Realtors's group said.

That probably won't happen until next year because of a backlog of foreclosures that have yet to come on to the market. The median sales price was $181,800 in June, down 15 percent from year-ago levels but up slightly from $174,700 in May.

Nevertheless, prices have risen for three straight months in about half of the 55 major metropolitan areas tracked by the Associated Press-Re/Max Housing Report, also released Thursday."

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