The New Year started with promise for homebuyers as falling rates combined with lower prices to boost housing affordability. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) in the Southwest, which includes Texas and Oklahoma, fell to 6.06 percent in early January from a December average of 6.10 percent. At the same time last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.18 percent. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) slipped to an average 5.76 percent from a December average of 5.81 percent. A year ago, the 5-year hybrid ARM averaged 6.02 percent. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.44 percent in early January, down from a December average of 5.50 percent, and almost even with the average 5.42 percent one year ago.
"The latest home sales data came with a few light notes," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist John Nothaft. "While new home sales fell in November to the slowest pace since April 1995, existing home sales rose," Nothaft said. Rising existing home sales may be a sign that the market is stabilizing, according to National Association of Realtor's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Mortgage interest rates are near historic lows and the most current data shows decelerating price declines, along with a modest reduction in the number of homes on the market," Yun said. In other words, 2008 is starting with good opportunities for buyers to get into homes.
Keller Williams Realty