Buyers market remains steady, as rates hover near record lows

December 6th, 2012

Low rates may contribute to spike in homeownership interest.

Now may be a good time for individuals to start the home buying process as interest rates continue to linger around record lows.

The latest Freddie Mac research shows affordability is still extremely high for buyers, with average rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increasing only slightly to 3.34 percent for the week ending December 6, 2012, from 3.32 percent the previous week. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages inched up slightly to 2.67 from last week’s 2.64 percent. However, this is still notably lower than the 2.93 average one year ago.

“The housing market is aiding in this recovery,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft. “For instance, fixed residential investment added positive growth over the past six consecutive quarters and in the third quarter alone contributed 0.3 percentage points to real GDP growth.”

The latest data from the National Association of Realtors shows that low rates may be contributing to a greater interest in homeownership, with pending home sales experiencing a 5.2 percent increase in October to its highest reading since March 2007.

The interest rate buyers are assigned will depend on a variety of factors, including their credit scores, credit reports and the standards set by their mortgage service company.