Moorings Column

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Moorings, you local column for all things Mortgage & Real Estate.  It was an incredible weekend with a beautiful snow fall, thankfully when most people are safely at home.  In the world of mortgage rates we are still holding steady at around 4.875% with a 1% origination fee or 5.125% with no fee on 30 year fixed rate mortgages under $417,000.  On Jumbo loans of say 80% loan to value we are looking at around 5.625% with 1% origination or 5.875% with no fee on 30 yr fixed.

 

One thing I would like to mention this week is that now is still an excellent time to refinance or purchase a home for those that haven’t already.  Looking at historic mortgage rates, say from 20 years ago the average 30 year fixed interest rate was 10.84%.  That is nearly DOUBLE the rates we are currently providing to customers today.  In terms of monthly dollars and cents on a $200,000 loan you are looking at $1,073 principal and interest at today’s rates or you could be paying $1,755 at the rates being given 20 years ago.   Bottom line, do NOT wait until it’s too late and rates begin to climb back to the 6’s or even 7’s.  Hopefully that will be a long time from now but no one truly knows how high rates will jump when the Fed stops buying Mortgage Backed Securities at the end of March.  Whatever the next rate increase will be,  you don’t want to be the person kicking yourself for having missed the ever elusive “bottom.” 

 

In the world of real estate January was a good month with 150 single family homes sold in New Hanover County.  The average list price was $253,352 and the average sales price was $237,671 meaning that homes were selling at an average of around 93.8% of their list price.  The average days on market was 147.  This is however down slightly from a total of 189 sold in December and an average percentage of list price at 94.6% but still much better than that same time in 2008 when the market was practically dead.   Definitely an improvement and something to look forward too with hopefully a positive spring and summer ahead of us.  Here at Alpha Mortgage we fully expect the next few months to be a great boom in purchases as the $8,000 first-time buyer and $6,500 repeat buyer tax credits come to their ends.  As it was this past November when clients were rushing to close at the last minute, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting off the fence and taking advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.  So many clients have benefited and been able to positively improve their financial outlook.

 

Last but definitely not least, I am happy to announce that Alpha Mortgage has grown again with the addition of Bill Horrell, Mary Horrell, and Jeff Gilley as our newest loan officers, each with the experience and dedication that represents my company very well.  Until next week, Be Blessed and Numbers 6:24-26 be on you.

Fourth Quarter Existing-Home Sales Surge in Most States, Prices Up in More Areas

Strong gains in existing-home sales were the predominant pattern in most states during the fourth quarter, with many more metro areas seeing prices rise from a year earlier, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors ® .

Sales increased from the third quarter in 48 states and the District of Columbia; 32 states saw double-digit gains. Year-over-year sales were higher in 49 states and D.C.; all but three states had double-digit annual increases.

Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, jumped 13.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 1 of 6.03 million in the fourth quarter from 5.29 million in the third quarter, and are 27.2 percent above the 4.74 million-unit level in the fourth quarter of 2008. Distressed property accounted for 32 percent of fourth quarter transactions, down from 37 percent a year earlier.

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