Rates down again, buyers should get off the fence

Not only do most analysts believe the housing market is flirting with the bottom, but Freddie Mac reports today that mortgage rates this week are approaching record lows.

The rubber now hits the road on buying or continuing to rent.

The rubber now hits the road on buying or continuing to rent.

Reluctant as I always have been to trumpet the notion that it’s always the right time to buy, I can’t help but suggest that it now is, in fact, the time.  I hate, truly, to sound like a self-interested salesperson, but I firmly believe that buyers looking to secure the lowest monthly cost of housing should wait no longer.

Freddie Mac says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.94 percent for the week, down from last week’s 5.04 percent and last year’s 6.10 percent. Continue reading

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Housing ‘overhang’ may inhibit a housing recovery

In a new report, analysts at the Amherst Securities Group contend that the largest problem facing the mortgage market is the “shadow inventory” or “housing overhang” of 7 million units.

“We are concerned that, in light of this overhang, the housing market stabilization is temporary, based on seasonal factors, and prices can deteriorate further,” the firm’s analysts wrote.  “We believe a more permanent stabilization must await some resolution of the shadow inventory.”

Nationwide, this “problem” represents a volume considerably larger than one year of existing home sales (5.2 million units).  The 300,000 new units transitioning into the non-performing “bucket” have a low chance of eventual recovery, the report continued.

amherst securities group chart on mortgage loan delinquencies “And to the extent that there is more home price depreciation (causing higher volume of defaults), the problem could escalate,” the analysts said.  Continue reading