In mid-April, investors fled the Stock market by moving their money over to Bonds, which resulted in the lowest home loan rates seen in a month. Were they enough to get more buyers signing on the dotted line?
Despite the mid-April decline in home loan rates, the number of new home loan applications did not recoup the first quarter’s weak application figures as reported by the industry’s leading lenders. Applications for home loan refinances were still down 70 percent from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, while applications to purchase a home were down 14 percent from the same time period in 2013, when rates were almost 1 percent lower.
Good News for Homebuyers
Recent lower rates welcomed homebuyers ahead of the spring season. Reports surfaced that many homebuyers and especially first-timers were getting squeezed out of a competitive buying market. And while rising home prices and more strict lending guidelines—in the form of higher credit and asset requirements—had prevented many from home ownership, we hope that the lower rates will stay low for the season to come.
For homebuyers, it’s important to have a solid pre-approval in place prior to home shopping. With less homes available on the market for sale nationwide, competition for desirable homes will be fierce. Thus, it’s more important than ever for qualified homebuyers to prove their ability to follow through on purchase offers. Home supply will hopefully see signs of improvement as home builders increase housing starts.
Lower rates may also help those homeowners who have not yet refinanced or missed earlier opportunities to do so.
The Bottom Line
Home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical rates and good deals are available in many parts of the country. If you have any questions about your personal situation or would like to inquire about housing and home loans, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
This article was taken from my May 2014 issue of YOU Magazine. Click here to view the full newsletter.