Mortgage rates continue to drop

But low rates probably won’t last forever, so now is the time to take advantage

By Jill Goldman, Special to

A few weeks ago we reported that it was now cheaper to buy than to rent in many parts of the country, because of the increasing rental costs and because interest rates have been so low.  We proposed a few ideas for putting together the “down money” needed to buy so first time homebuyers could take advantage of the rates, and discussed some “zero down” options like USDA financing for qualifying properties and families.

When we wrote that article we really thought that any future discussion about mortgage rates going even lower was absurd. How could they go lower? Yet here we are again, letting you know that rates continue to drop.

Skeptics might argue that this is only because the current administration is trying to keep economic indicators favorable until election day, to which we say “probably.” Others might argue that the European Debt Crisis is causing the rate decline, to which we say “maybe.”  But the point is this: Come election day, or Inauguration Day, or some other relatively close date in time, the rates are going to start going back up.

We know we sound redundant, but our advice is buy, buy, buy! Why? This is why.  Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey recorded the following low fixed rates and compared them to previous weeks.  The pattern says it all.

For the week ending May 17, 2012, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 3.79 percent, remaining well below 4 percent, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was also down at 3.04 percent.

Two weeks ago, on May 17, 2012, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage 3.83 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-mortgage rate averaged 4.61 percent.

Two weeks ago the 15-year fixed-mortgage rate averaged 3.05 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.80 percent.

Presently, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averages 2.83 percent, up from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.48 percent.

Similarly, the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averages 2.78 percent this week, up from last week when it averaged 2.73 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.15 percent.

Hoping to buy but can’t figure out how?  There might be a solution.  A qualified realtor or mortgage professional can discuss the options with you.  But don’t wait.  This cannot last.  Jump in while you can or forever hold your peace.  Contact us at, or “like” us on Facebook.

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