Category Archives: Mortgage Rates

Cheaper to Own House then Rent

Buying a house in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, or even Daniel Island is now cheaper then renting according to a new report from the real estate website Trulia. In virtually every U.S. city it’s better to buy a house then to rent.

“Despite the recent home rebound, rents continue to rise faster then do home prices, and mortgage rates are at record lows,” said J. Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a news release by The Daily.

On average, buying is now 45% cheaper then renting in the 100 largest U.S. cities – a savings of almost $800 a month. With more and more home owners having to leave their homes due to job loss, and a poor economy forces those same people to rent thus increasing the demand for rental properties forcing rent costs upward. Furthermore, mortgage lending is still very tight and less people are qualified to purchase.

These factors result in an almost 5% surge in  rental rates in the past year and a glut of 30 yr mortgages around 3.5 percent. Trulia looked at the average age price of all homes for sale and the average rent of all homes for lease between the beginning of June and the end of Aug. It spread its search from the inner cities to the suburbs. Trulia also baked in various expenses like closing costs, maintenance, renter’s insurance, and taxes.

After the analysis was completed in the winter, it was better to buy in 98 of the top 100 markets including Charleston, South Carolina’s. Purchase mortgage rates have dropped while rents have increased. The study however, is built on some big assumptions, primarily that the hypothetical buyer puts down 20% and qualifies for a great mortgage AND doesn’t sell for 7 years.

With that said, even in a case where the homeowner got just a 4.5% mortgage and only stayed in the home for 5 years, the result was still almost the same. It was cheaper to buy in 96 markets.

Nevertheless, some 6 million properties remain close to foreclosure, and most potential buyers still find it difficult to save up the 20% for down payment. Although there are still loans that only require 3.5% down.

Mortgage Rates in Charleston Stay Low

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – Average mortgage rates on fixed mortgages fell this week and are just slightly above record lows reached earlier this year. The low rates have contributed to a modest housing recovery.

GSE Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.59%, down from 3.66% last week. Five weeks ago, the rate fell to 3.49%, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, slipped to 2.86%. That’s down from 2.89% last week and from the record low of 2.8% five weeks ago.

Cheap mortgages are a key reason the housing market is finally started to rebound five years after the bubble burst. However, another large factor is banks are not releasing the foreclosed homes they have on their books, and are sitting on them thus reducing the inventory and increasing demand. 

Sales of newly built and previously occupied homes are well above last year’s levels. Prices have increased consistently, largely because the supply of homes has shrunk while sales have risen. And Charleston SC builder confidence is at its highest level in five years.

Still, the  Charleston housing market has a long way back to full health. Some national economists forecast that sales of previously occupied homes will rise 8% this year to about 4.6 million. That’s well below the 5.5 million annual sales considered healthy. Many people are still having difficulty qualifying for home loans or can’t afford larger down payments required by banks. If you need help with home financing in Charleston South Carolina and need advice contact me at.

Charleston SC Mortgage Rates

National overnight averages Today +/-
30 yr fixed mtg 3.54%
15 yr fixed mtg 2.89%
5/1 ARM 2.86%
$30K home equity loan 5.68%
$30K HELOC 4.58%
About these rates

Mortgage rates in Charleston SC are low because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. A weaker U.S. economy and uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis have led investors to buy more Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurey’s increase, the yield falls.

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.6 point, down from 0.7 point last week. The fee for 15-year loans also slipped to 0.6 point from 0.7.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to 2.63% from 2.66% last week. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans was unchanged at 0.4 point.

The average rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages declined to 2.78% from 2.80%. The fee held steady at 0.6 point.

Most Article Content By USAToday.com

Home Sales Brighter, prices on rise.

Existing-home sales kept up their recovery in July, rising 2.3% as prices jumped 9.4% from a year ago, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, but the market’s progress disappointed analysts who expected more.

Smaller inventories of homes for sale let sellers push prices higher, the association said. The average price of a new home rose 9.4% to $187,300, aided by a shift in the mix of homes sold, with fewer low-end units included. “I am seeing multiple offers within in first week a nice home comes on market,” Isle of Palms Realtor, James Schiller.

Nationally, the number of homes sold rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million. The numbers missed economists’ expectations of about 4.52 million home sales, according to Drew Matus, an economist at investment bank UBS.

Mortgage interest rates have been at record lows this year while rents have been rising at faster rates,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Combined, these factors are helping to unleash a pent-up demand. However, the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions.”

Independent economists are looking for the housing market to begin slowly reversing its more than 30% slide in prices, though most do not expect substantive price gains until at least 2013 or 2014.

“It was a little below expectations but still good,” said Mike Zoller, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. He said the sharp gains in prices reflect the smaller percentage of foreclosure-related distress sales included in the numbers, as well as the shift to more higher-end home sales.

Tight credit or worries about jobs may be prompting buyers to stay on the sidelines, said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight. The gain in home sales was the second-smallest reported this year, he added. As long as the buyer has good credit, money to put down, and good job security getting a loan is still easy by most standards.

“These are not great numbers,” Newport said. “We have record-low mortgage rates. Something is going on.”

The economists also disputed the Realtor association’s argument that sales might be stronger if more homes were available.

Nationally, inventories of available homes work out to about six months’ worth of expected sales, Zoller said, a level he called “reasonable.” The proportion of homes that are vacant is still above 2%, Newport said, citing Census data. That’s higher than a historical norm of about 1.7%, he said. Locally,  Charleston, SC homes sales appears to be improving as inventory stays lower than normal.

The bright side is that the overhang of foreclosures are finally seeing a decline, relieving an overflow that pushed prices lower, Barclays economist Michael Gapen wrote in a note to clients. About 24% of sales were foreclosure-related, down from 29% last July, he said.

Most Content Courtesy of USA Today

Mortgage Rates Still Good

National Mortgage Rates

National overnight averages Today +/-
30 yr fixed mtg 3.62%
15 yr fixed mtg 3.03%
5/1 ARM 2.78%

In another report Thursday, Freddie Mac said average rates on fixed mortgages fell again to record lows.

US Existing Home Sales Chart

The average rate on 30-year loans fell to 3.53% from 3.56% last week. It is the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, declined to 2.83%, below last week’s previous record of 2.86%.

The rate on the 30-year loan has fallen to or matched record lows in 12 of the past 13 weeks. Cheaper mortgages have contributed to the modest housing recovery. Home prices are rising in most markets. Mount Pleasant SC Builders are putting up more houses than they have in nearly four years, a long-awaited recovery that could help energize the local economy.

Low mortgage rates could also provide some help to the economy if more people refinance. When people refinance at lower rates, they pay less interest on their loans and have more money to spend on other things. Many homeowners use the savings on renovations, furniture, appliances and other improvements, which help drive growth.

Still, many people are having difficulty qualifying for home loans or can’t afford larger down payments required by banks. And the sluggish job market could deter some from making a purchase this year.

Mortgage rates have been dropping because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. A weaker U.S. economy and uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis have led investors to buy more Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurys increase, the yield falls.

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans slipped to 0.6 point, down from 0.7 the previous week.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.69%. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans also stayed the same, at 0.4 point.

The average rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages dropped to 2.69% from 2.74% last week. The fee was unchanged at 0.6 point.

Housing Market Still Little Iffy…

Story By USA Today

The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously occupied homes fell 5.4% in June from May, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million homes. That’s the lowest rate since October.

“It is only one month and the rest of the housing indicators have all continued to show improvement,” saidJennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “Let’s hope this June decline is a blip.”

Where as  here in CHARLESTON, SC—(July 10, 2012) Home sales in the Charleston region maintained their consistent and steady pattern in June, with continued growth in sales volume and ongoing stability in pricing. 1,033 homes sold at a median price of $200,000 in June according to preliminary data released today by the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (CTAR). Last month, adjusted figures show 1,002 homes sold at the same median price.

National real estate sales are up 4.5% from a year ago, evidence that the market is recovering. But the annual sales pace is well below the 6 million that economists consider healthy.

First-time buyers, critical to a housing recovery, made up just 32% of sales. That’s down from 34% in May. In healthy markets, first-time buyers make up more than 40% of the market.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $189,400 in June, up 7.9% from a year ago, according to the NAR.

Here in Charleston SC – Inventory declined again, with 6,277 homes listed as actively for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service (CTMLS) as of July 10, 2012.

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