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Mortgage Rates: New Home Sales in 2012 Highest in Three Years

By: | January 25th, 2013

Total new homes sales in 2012 hit the highest level seen in three years (2009), even though December’s numbers were down. Total sales of new homes in 2012 were also up 19.9% from 2011. According to the latest report from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, December new home sales fell 7.3%, but was still 8.8% higher than December of 2011. Although sales were down for the last month of 2012, November’s estimate of new home sales was revised higher from 377,000 to 398,000.

Current 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates are as low as 3.125%, 15 year fixed mortgage rates are as low as 2.375% and 5/1 ARM loan rates are as low as 2.375%. Having good credit is essential when trying to obtain low interest rates for conventional loans. Lenders will examine and verify the basic documents submitted for employment, income and assets after which, additional information may be requested. Purchase loans and traditional refinances go through processing and underwriting prior to receiving final approval. When refinancing an underwater mortgage, the HARP program is available for homeowners who have loans that were sold to one of the two GSEs, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, prior to June 1, 2009. In most cases, a HARP refinance does not require an appraisal to prove the value of the property. HARP loans usually require very little documentation, but this can depend on the lender. To make the process of obtaining a mortgage, refinance or HARP loan easier, the online form is available for submission and will return a response almost immediately.

Today’s FHA 30 year fixed mortgage rates are as low as 3.250%, FHA 15 year fixed interest rates are as low as 2.750% and FHA 5/1 ARM loan rates are as low as 2.500%. While conventional loans are popular, FHA loans are a major choice for first time home buyers. FHA gives everyone the opportunity to own a home by offering a low down payment requirement and easier credit guidelines. In addition, FHA loans work well with housing grants or loans, as well as, gifts that meet guidelines. Seller concessions up to 6% are also allowed to help pay the higher FHA closing costs (APR) which occurs because of the upfront mortgage insurance premium and various FHA fees. Refinancing can be simple for those who hold FHA mortgages by using the FHA streamline refinance. The streamline program does not require an appraisal, a credit history or any documentation. When using the FHA streamline, reduced upfront and annual mortgage insurance premiums are available for borrowers who have loans that were endorsed prior to June 1, 2009. To find FHA approved lenders for any FHA loan program or the FHA streamline loan, the online form is available for submission without the need of a social security number.

Today’s jumbo 30 year fixed mortgage rates are as low as 3.500%, jumbo 15 year fixed interest rates are as low as 2.700% and jumbo 5/1 ARM loan rates are as low as 2.375%. Low jumbo mortgage rates are available for borrowers who have a record of excellent credit. Jumbo loans, which tend to have strict guidelines, require full documentation which will go through lender verification. Most jumbo loans require substantial assets for the larger down payment and additional months of reserves that are usually necessary. In some cases, lenders may be flexible since competition has increased in this market. Shopping for a jumbo mortgage can be fast and easy when submitting the online form which will return a response almost instantly.

MBS prices (mortgage backed securities) are down -22/32 (FNMA 30 yr 3.0 at 103.14) which is below earlier levels. MBS prices affect mortgage rates which move in the opposite direction. Stocks are up again today as global investors have moved to riskier assets. Economic news coming from Europe was stronger than expected and is influencing markets. This is hurting MBS prices which have fallen back to levels seen in September. With this slide in MBS, there is a risk that mortgage rates will be increasing.

FreeRateUpdate.com surveys more than two dozen wholesale and direct lenders’ rate sheets to determine the most accurate mortgage rates available to well qualified consumers at about a 1 point origination fee.

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