Friday, September 21, 2012

Rates DOWN Again: Sales UP!
Well, it's becoming a regular item--mortgage interest rates have dropped again. At this rate the only news on rates will be when they eventually go up. To reverse paraphrase Newton, everything that goes down, must eventually go up. This week saw 30 year fixed rate loans priced at 3.49%, which equals the all time low for the product. For 15 year loans, the rate dropped to a never before level of 2.77%! It almost makes me feel sorry I refi'd a few months back at just over 3.5%. There is some speculation, based on the Fed's pledge to keep buying mortgage backed securities to the tune of $40 Billion a month, that rates could conceivably drop below 3% for 30 year money, possibly to 2.5%. Most of the folks in the know do not feel that it is likely to drop that far, however. The going consensus appears to be that it very likely will drop to the low 3's, but probably not too far below that. Is 3% breachable at all? Maybe, but not by very much, and not for very long. This is especially true if the economy continues to improve, particularly in the housing industry.

Speaking of the housing industry, the latest statistics for the Bay Area in general and Marin county in particular shows a continued increase in the prices of homes. Total sales are down slightly from a year ago, but that is mainly due to some reluctance by some homeowners to place their homes on the market for a variety of reasons. Some are worried about the economy; others want to wait to get more for their homes, and so on and so on.

Followers of this blog know my opinion on the matter. Yes, you may get more by waiting, though no-one can guarantee that. But there are so many buyers out there, cash in hand due to low rates, that multiple offers have begun to become somewhat common again. This will drive prices up on a deal by deal basis. Why shouldn't the home they're competing for be yours? It can be if you list it.

If you're a buyer, these rates are one of the best reasons to get out and get moving you'll find! For every 1/4 per cent drop in rates, you can buy thousands of Dollars more of a house. Why waste an opportunity? Do it now!
Questions? Call either of us: Jane is (415) 531-4091 and Peter is (415) 279-6466.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to Skype with my grandsons.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Latest:

The big news this week is that not only are rates still down near record lows, the Fed came out again yesterday and announced that it's planning to keep all interest rates low until at least mid-2015. That's an extension of at least six months from their previous plan. All rates includes mortgage rates, so at a minimum, it's time to refi. Better yet, as I continue to say, time to look seriously at your house plans--buy or sell. For the record, this past week saw 30 year fixed rates remain at least week's level: 3.55%. Fifteen year fixed rates dropped a basis point to 2.85%, down from last week's 2.86%.

Separately, the fall market is heating up as it usually does after Labor Day. The market is still inventory short, but among the properties coming out, there are a number of good opportunities at many price points.
Questions on the market? Questions about your own home or prospective home? Call us! Jane's number is: (415) 531-4091; Peter's is: (415) 279-6466.

Separately, don't miss the Mill Valley Fall Art Festival in Old Mill Park from Saturday through Sunday. Lots of great art to buy or just enjoy.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A 'Quickie':
No, not that. Just a brief note about markets and rates. You've heard it all before, but, basically, things remain the same. The market is starved for inventory at all price points, so if you're thinking of selling, now is definitely the time to get moving! Traditionally, in Marin, the post-Labor Day market heats up very rapidly and usually carries through to Thanksgiving. Then it naps until the new year rolls around. The fact that interest rates continue near all time lows only intensifies the buyer activity.
So, what to do? Most important, get your home in the best condition to sell. Fix up any small defects that you've been putting off. If there's something major, you have choices: spend the money and fix it, insuring a better chance at a higher price; or leave it be, noting it in your disclosures and price accordingly. When someone makes an offer and tries to subtract for that item, you can inform them it's already factored into your price.
If you're a buyer, the continued low rates are the best reason to jump in and buy. They won't be this low forever. Some analysts say the rates will rise after the November election. Others feel certain that Bernanke's promise of low rates through 2014 will hold reasonably well until that date. Either way, at some point they will rise, so why wait? Get on the web; call us for advice--and start the process!
Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091.