When the Wall Street Journal or Forbes run mortgage rate stories as their lead items, those of us who keep an eye on the Greater Kalamazoo area real estate market pay close attention. I frequently share what they say here. But when even the non-financial outlets like USA TODAY and the cable TV news channels give top billing to real estate market news, it’s a real attention-grabber.
That’s what happened last week. USA TODAY’s online headline focused on the 15-year fixed mortgage rate, “at a record low 2.61%.” The cable news channels talked about record low rates, too (although if you hit the ‘pause’ button long enough to read the TV graphics, you saw that the national average for 30-year loans was still a shade away from the actual record low).
Never mind that; it’s still surprising that mortgage rates continue to linger at such tempting lows.
The reason is hardly a secret: the Federal Reserve is holding rates down to energize the real estate market — a key element of the overall economy. Yet, with existing home sales notching up in the first quarter at the briskest pace in four years, you would have thought that mortgage rates would have been loosened up at least somewhat, especially since new home sales are doing their best since 2008…
Of course, it doesn’t matter what anyone expects: the results of dipping mortgage rates is just plain good news for everyone in the greater Kalamazoo area real estate market: buyers and sellers alike. Those low mortgage rates act to offset the rising U.S. house price index. The result for buyers is a more valuable home without the expected increase in the monthly payment. What more of an inducement to enter the real estate market could there be?
In short, if you’re considering whether it’s time to buy (or to sell your current home and trade up without busting the household budget), recent national and Greater Kalamazoo area market signs are even clearer than they have been recently. There are definitely opportunities out there! Why not give us a call for an up-to-the-moment Greater Kalamazoo area real estate market evaluation.