Low Mortgage Rates and Available Homes for Sale Drive Home Prices Higher
The Federal Reserve's monetary policies designed to drive mortgage rates lower are having a positive impact on housing prices. The National Association of Realtors reported March existing home sales dropped but the average home prices continues to move higher. Another factor driving home prices higher is the low number of homes for available for sale.
March existing-home sales were down 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million in March from a downwardly revised 4.95 million in February. Although home sales were down month over month, sales were 10.3 percent higher in March 2013 when compared to March 2012.
The national median existing-home price for March was up 11.8 percent compared to a year ago. The increase in March's year over year number is the strongest increase since the height of the housing bubble. Back in November 2005 home prices rose 12.9 percent from a year earlier.
The March 2013 increase in home prices is the 13 consecutive month prices have moved higher, when comparing year-over-year prices. This stretch of price increases is the longest stretch since prices increased between May 2005 to May 2006.
Mortgage rates fell over the past month which has helped the demand for homes as buyers are taking advantage of near record low rates. Mortgage rates today on 30 year conforming loans are averaging 3.51 percent, a decline from the prior week's average 30 year mortgage rate of 3.54 percent. 30 year rates on average are just above record lows of 3.27 percent set in November of 2012.
Right now the lowest 30 year conforming refinance rates on our rate list for the state of California are at 3.00 percent with 2 mortgage points. The lowest 30 year refinancing rates without points on our list for California are at 3.25 percent. You can find lenders quoting these rates for most other states in our database of rates.
Average 15 year conventional mortgage rates today are at 2.74 percent, down from the prior week's average 15 year mortgage rate of 2.78 percent. The lowest 15 year refinancing rates today in our database for the state of Colorado are at 2.25 percent. The lowest 15 year refi rates without points in our database for Colorado are at 2.50 percent.
Current jumbo mortgage rates on 30 year loans are averaging 3.95 percent, a slight decline from last week's average 30 year jumbo mortgage rate of 3.96 percent. The lowest 30 year jumbo refinance rates in our database for the state of Illinois are current at 3.375 percent with 0.5 mortgage point and the lowest rates without points are at 3.50 percent.
Today's mortgage rates on 15 jumbo loans are averaging 3.33 percent, down from last week's average 15 year jumbo rate of 3.41 percent. The lowest 15 year jumbo rates in our database right now for the state of Texas are at 2.625 percent. The lowest 15 year jumbo refi rates without points in our Texas database of rates are at 3.125 percent.
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