Interest rates stayed steady this week, and we can report mostly identical costs to those of last week. The 30 year fixed ranges as low as 3.250 percent (3.474 percent APR), but with a high cost. For a more favorable cost, we are publishing the 30 year fixed rate at 3.375 percent (3.528 percent APR). The 15-year fixed ranges as low as 2.750 percent (3.172 percent APR), but we are publishing it at 3.000 percent (3.239 percent APR).*
In his State of the Union address, President Obama touched on a plan to help responsible underwater homeowners refinance. Currently, we have the HARP programs (Home Affordable Refinance Program) to help underwater homeowners refinance if the loan is backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. However, other underwater homeowners have not had an opportunity to take advantage of the current low interest rates to lower monthly payments. Obama’s statements announce he is working to build a plan to help underwater homeowners who are current on payments to refinance. The plan will encounter opposition by congressional republicans. We will update you as this story progresses.
In January, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, which is its lowest level in three years. Meanwhile the Dow and S&P had their best January since 1997, rising 3.4 percent and 4.4 percent respectively. Investors were encouraged by the continued decline in the unemployment rate and unemployment filings.
Last week, CCL loan officer Jason VanDyke wrote an excellent piece about reading between the lines of the Fed’s interest rate announcement and the long term outlook for interest rates. Check it out HERE. We will be updating important market news (especially as it relates to real estate) throughout the week on our website.
*As always, rates may vary based on factors like credit history, loan amount, loan-to-value, property type, and occupancy.