Yes, The Housing Market Is Improving
If you’ve been working in real estate, you’ve known for months that things are improving – slowly but surely. Now there’s proof. The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements increased 4.1 percent last month to a reading of 101.4, the highest since April 2010, when buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit. A reading of 100 is considered healthy.
Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. There’s a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed deal. Even though new home sales fell in March they have risen over the past year.
At the same time, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has dipped to near its record low, keeping home-buying and refinancing affordable. The 30-year mortgage is still the most common for home buyers.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.88 percent this week, down from 3.9 percent. In February, the rate hit 3.87 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.
The average on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, dipped to 3.12 percent, down from 3.13 percent last week. The national average hit an all-time low of 3.11 percent two weeks ago.
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