Let’s Twist Again, Like We Did Last Summer

How do you stimulate the economy without spending any money? You do the twist and shuffle. The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would engage in a new policy known as “Operation Twist,” consisting of selling shorter-term Treasuries and using the proceeds to buy longer-term government bonds. The Mortgage Bond markets soared today after the surprise announcement from the Fed saying that it will be purchasing agency Mortgage Backed Securities from the principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency Mortgage Backed Securities in agency Mortgage Backed Securities. The move took players by surprise in a big way. The 3.5% coupon jumped 134bp to end at an all-time high of 103.00 The next few trading days will determine if we switch over to the 3% coupon, which finished at 99.81 up 134bp today.Stocks plunged after the Fed statement read that there are significant downside risks to the economy. The Dow lost 283.82, the Nasdaq fell 52.05 to 2,538.19 while the S&P 500 Index dropped 35.33. Oil in after hours trading was last seen at $84.83/barrel down $2.09. Weekly claims will be released tomorrow.

 

World Events Spark a Short-Term Drop in Home Loan Rates

Is this the last opportunity to purchase or refinance at bargain home prices and rates which are at record lows?

For the past several months, rates have been rising from the historically low levels they reached during the second half of last year. These rates presented a great opportunity for homeowners to refinance their home loan. It was even a better opportunity for those who were interested in purchasing their first home, an investment property or trade up. With bargains available, purchasing made so much sense for those who see real estate as a long-term investment and more importantly a better life for their family.

Rising rates were not bad news for the state of our economy. The rates were rising because the economy is recovering and that is very good news. Evidence of a recovery is all around us. Just last week, CNN indicated that rents are about to rise precipitously and one must ask whether the recovery of the home purchase market will be next….

“Already, rental vacancy rates have dipped below the 10% mark, where they had been lodged for most of the past three years. “The demand for rental housing has already started to increase,” said Peggy Alford, president of Rent.com. “Young people are starting to get rid of their roommates and move out of their parent’s basements.” By 2012, she predicts the vacancy rate will hover at a mere 5%. And with fewer units on the market, prices will explode. Rent hikes have averaged less than 1% a year over the past decade, according to Commerce Department statistics, adjusted for inflation. Now, Alford expects rents to spike 7% or so in each of the next two years…”

 

World events, especially the tragedy in Japan, have caused a short-term drop in home loan rates just as the economy is heating up. This means that you now can purchase or refinance a home at the lowest rates in months. According to the Freddie Mac Weekly Survey, rates have dropped over 0.25% in the past several weeks. Rates on 15-year fixed home loans are the lowest they have been since December. This lower rate equates to an approximately $500 in annual savings in interest on a $200,000 mortgage.

How long will rates stay low because of this crisis? No one can tell. But if you missed out on refinancing or purchasing last year, this could be your opportunity. Today, those who hesitate may be missing a very historic opportunity. Home affordability is the lowest it has been in our generation. Those who have a lot of money have been picking up bargains for the past year. Why? Those who are successful stay ahead of the trends. These lower rates mean that everyone can take advantage of this occasion to own the home of their dreams or reduce their payment on the home they already own. With gas prices up, wouldn’t the savings help?

Contact me quickly as we expect to be plenty busy this week with those who recognize the significance of the timing.

-Seth

Historic Low Mortgage Rates, again?

How many times have you heard that “Mortgage rates are at historic lows!”?

You’ve heard this line when rates were at 6.0% and 5.50% and 5.0%. You’ve heard it so many times it may not even register anymore. But have you taken the time to speak to a mortgage specialist who can guide you through the process and help you determine the best time to lock in your refinance loan?

There many free resources available online to help homeowners better understand what mortgage interest rate they will qualify for. It is very important to remember that no homeowner will get a 100% accurate rate quote until they submit a mortgage refinance application. One submitting this application of homeowners will better understand if they can save money by refinancing.

How do you take advantage of this opportunity? Contact a lender you trust and a real estate agent with experience and knowledge of your area. Talk to people who have recently purchased or refinanced a home. The tools required for a successful investment in your future are all around you!