Mortgage rates continued to improve last week, reaching new lows for 2011. According to Freddie Mac, the national average on the 30 Year Fixed loan moved to 4.63% from 4.71% a week ago. The 15 Year Fixed mortgage is down to 3.82% from 3.89%. Traders are attributing the recent low rates to modest inflation numbers and weak commodity prices. The Producer Price Index was up 0.8% and Core PPI increased 0.3%. For the year, producer prices are up 6.8%. April’s Consumer Price Index matched expectations with a 0.4% increase while Core CPI, excluding food and energy prices, was up only 0.2%. Core CPI is up 1.3% over the past year, below the range the Federal Reserve considers healthy. In other news, Retail Sales increased 0.5% in April and Jobless Claims dropped 44,000, reversing the recent rising trend.
Zillow.com is quickly becoming the leading home valuation site on the web for both consumers and real estate professionals. Zillow uses public record data of recent sold properties to approximate values of nearly any home in the nation, however, it seems to be most accurate when assigning values to properties in tract home neighborhoods. Last week, Zillow showed that home values posted the largest decline in the first quarter since late 2008. Home values fell 3% in the first quarter from the previous quarter and 1.1% in March from the previous month. Zillow reports that prices have fallen for 57 consecutive months. Click on the following link to get your free home value zestimate… www.zillow.com.
Currently, the 30 Year Fixed is 4.250% (4.427% APR) and the 15 Year Fixed is 3.500 (3.810% APR). Economic data is relatively light this week and will include Housing Starts and Building Permits, Existing Home Sales, Leading Economic Indicators and the Philly Fed Index.