Mortgages: Are They the “Deal of the Century?”

Mortgages: Are They the “Deal of the Century?”

Recently, Freddie Mac published a blog post titled Mortgage Rates: Still the Deal of the Century. They explained that, if you are planning to purchase a home, now may be the time:

“If you are in the market to buy a home, today’s average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost any year since 1971.”

And they let their readers know that there is no guarantee that rates will remain this low:

“Over the past few years, we’ve enjoyed a long run of historically low mortgage rates. While no one expects them to change dramatically overnight, they are expected to head up. Most experts agree that mortgage rates will drift up in the coming months to end the year approaching 4.50%…Buying a home is a big investment – perhaps the biggest one you’ll make in your life. So, it’s important to be sure you are ready to make that purchase. If you are ready, today’s rates are not to be missed.”

The article went on to calculate what the principal and interest payment would be based on a $200,000 fully amortizing mortgage at different times in history.

Mortgage Payments | Keeping Current Matters

Here is a look at rates over the decades:

Historic Mortgage Rates by Decade | Keeping Current Matters

Here is a look at rates over the last four years and what Freddie Mac projects for next year:

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rates | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of buying your first home or looking to move up to your dream home, now may be the time to do it.

Good News for “Typical” Buyers

Good News for “Typical” Buyers

Good News for ‘Typical’ Home Buyers | Keeping Current Matters

In a speech delivered earlier this year, Secretary for HUD Julián Castro, called 2015 “A Year of Housing Opportunity”. A recent report by The National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that investment home sales decreased 7.4% in 2014 to an estimated 1.02 million.

What does this mean for the ‘typical’ homebuyer?

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist gave some insight:

“Despite strong rental demand in many markets, investment property sales have declined four consecutive years to their lowest share since 2010 as rising home prices and fewer distressed properties coming onto the market have further reduced the number of bargains available to turn into profitable rentals.”

This is great news for the housing market. If fewer properties are being sold to investors, they are instead being sold to American families who are entering the housing market in droves.

Details of the Report

There are many reasons buyers purchase a home as an investment property. Those who made a purchase in 2014 listed the opportunity for rental income as their top reason (37%).

Below is a graph showing the top three reasons:

Top 3 Reasons To Buy | Keeping Current Matters

The median investment-home sales price dropped 3.8% to $125,000, from $130,000 in 2013.

According to Yun, “the decrease in vacation and investment sales prices is likely due to the increase in vacation and investment buyers purchasing condos and townhouses, which contributed to a decline in the median size of 200 square feet for both.”

The drop in price can also be attributed to the majority of investment purchases being located in the South (37%) where there are often better deals from a pure pricing standpoint.

Below is a map detailing the investment purchases in 2014 by region.

Investment Purchases by Region | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

The housing market is continuing to recover and thrive. If your plan for 2015 includes buying your first, second or even investment property – contact a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to enter the market.

New Manufacturing Center Opened Yesterday

Buffalo Manufacturing Works, a $45 million project that is part of the Buffalo Billion program, opened its doors yesterday.  It was designed as a center for area manufacturers looking for resources and access to new equipment to grow their business, improve customer service and apply the latest technology on the shop floor.

The ultimate goal?  To bring more jobs and growth to Western New York by allowing local businesses a place to expand research and development.

“It will help existing businesses grow and thrive while remaining competitive,” said Sam Hoyt, Empire State Development’s regional president. “Basically it will give our manufacturers a technical advantage that will lift them up. It’s all about improving local businesses’ competitiveness, throughout the region and globally.”

The center announced that it will be adding a learning lab that, by next school year, will become a learning center for middle- and high-school students.  Eventually, certificate programs will be made available for students, who will also learn real-life applications and marketplace demands.