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Home Prices Continue to Increase Fueled by Low Mortgage Rates
 

Home Prices Continue to Increase Fueled by Low Mortgage Rates

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The latest home price data released showed double digit gains in home prices fueled by low mortgage rates and inventory constraints on available homes for sale. Average 30 year mortgage rates today are just above record lows and average 15 year mortgage rates hit record lows just last week at 2.56 percent.

Home Prices Continue to Increase Fueled by Low Mortgage RatesIn the National Association of Realtor's quarterly Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability Report,the median sales price of existing family homes for metropolitan areas increased 11.3 percent in Q1 2013, over Q1 2012. Some areas of the country saw greater year over year price gains than other areas.

The biggest price increase was in the Western Region at 24.4 percent while the lowest price increase was in the New England Region at 2.9 percent. Some of the metropolitan areas that had the biggest home price declines when the housing bubble burst are gains again.  Some parts of Nevada and California saw price declines of 50 percent or more, and are now seeing some of the largest price gains.

The Reno-Sparks, Nevada metropolitan region saw a median sales price increase of 32.1 percent.  The Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada metropolitan region saw the median sales price increase 27.0 percent and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California had a price increase of 31.7 percent. Although prices are up considerably, the average price is still well below the peak prices back in 2005/2006.

The main reason for the sharp increases in average selling price is the low inventory of homes available for sale combined with pent up demand for homes as buyers stayed on the sidelines for years waiting to finally see the bottom of the home price curve. Homes are also now more affordable than ever because of the combination of years of home prices falling and record low mortgage rates.

Current mortgage rates on 30 year loans, the most common loan taken out by homeowners, are averaging 3.53 percent. You can find lenders offering 30 year rates higher and lower than the average rate depending on several factors including the number of points on a loan. The lowest 30 year mortgage refinance rates available right now are around 3.00 percent with points. The lowest 30 year refinance rates without points are around 3.50 percent.

As with 30 year rates, the lowest rates available on 15 year rates are much lower than the current average of 2.71 percent. Right now there are lenders quoting 15 year refi rates as low as 2.25 percent with points. The lowest refi rates available without points right now are just above 2.25 percent at 2.375 percent.

Over the past several years, jumbo mortgage rates have also come down considerably and are just above record lows. The current average jumbo mortgage rate right now on 30 year loans is at 3.96 percent, just above an all-time record low of 3.91 percent. Right now the lowest 30 year jumbo refinancing rates with points are at 3.375 percent with points and the lowest rates without points are at 3.625 percent.

Average 15 year jumbo mortgage interest rates are currently averaging 3.43 percent while the lowest rates available are much lower. There are lenders quoting 15 year jumbo rates as low as 2.625 percent with points. The lowest 15 year rates without points are still well below the average at 3.00 percent.

When comparing mortgage rates, there are many different factors that will determine the rates you receive. The dollar amount of the loan, whether it's a conforming or jumbo, the percentage of your down payment, the type of home and your credit score will all determine the rates you are quoted by lenders.

 
Author: Brian McKay
May 10th, 2013