At its meeting in September, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee decided to purchase mortgage-backed securities at the rate of $40 billion a month. This should put downward pressure on longer-term rates, including those for mortgages. Additionally, notes from this meeting indicate the Federal Reserve’s intention to keep rates low to at least mid-2015.
As of today, with the economy continuing to grow at a slow pace (1.3-percent increase in gross domestic product in the second quarter), mortgage rates are staying near all-time lows. Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey for mid October has the 30-year fixed rate at 3.39 percent and 0.7 percent in points and fees, and the 15-year fixed rate was at 2.7 percent with 0.6 percent in points and fees.
Additionally, as of September, Freddie Mac projected that the 30-year fixed rate will average 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter, with a gradual rise throughout 2013 to 4.1 percent.•
July 1 - Sept. 30
Housing sales continue to climb in the quarter ended Sept. 30, a trend underway since January. However, activity slowed due to uncertainty over future health care costs and tax-cut extensions, said Jim Litten, president of brokerage F.C. Tucker Co. Momentum will recover after the uncertainty clears, Litten predicted.
Click here for a more detailed table of recent housing sales activity.•
Homeownership is higher in suburban counties due to fewer foreclosures, but also because empty-nesters and new college graduates wanting to live in authentic urban neighborhoods often prefer to rent, said Drew Klacik, an analyst at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute.•
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