Now may be the ideal time to enter the housing market, as a seller, buyer, or refinancer. Three key statistics for February and March 2019 painted a very rosy picture: lower mortgage rates, lower FICO requirements, and higher number of home sales. Experts expect this positive trend to continue.
Statistic #1: Mortgage rates have “dipped quite dramatically” since the start of the year.
Mortgage rates recently declined once again. For example, according to Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, as of March 21, 2019, decreased to 4.28% (from 4.46% in January 2019). As Freddie Mac notes, “[m]ortgage rates have dipped quite dramatically since the start of the year.”
And, the good news should continue, as the Federal Reserve indicated there would be no more rate hikes in 2019. According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, “Based on what we learned from the Federal Reserve earlier this week, we’re now fairly confident we won’t see any interest rate hikes for a while, which is good news for both buyers and sellers.”
As mortgage rates have been declining, the number of mortgage applications has been increasing. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey for the week ending March 15, 2019, mortgage applications ticked up for the fifth time in six weeks.
Statistic #2: Lower credit score requirements
Lenders have been lowering their FICO credit score requirements for mortgages. According to the Urban Institute’s February 2019 monthly report, lenders have lowered their credit score requirements, especially nonbank lenders. For nonbanks (institutions that do not take consumer deposits), the median required FICO score declined to 713. For banks, the median minimum FICO score declined to 745.
If your credit score is not in the 700s, do not despair. We have access to programs offered by alternative lenders that accept credit scores in the 600s or even the 500s. To learn more about credit, click here. For tips on how to improve your credit score, click here.
Statistic #3: The number of existing-home sales “skyrocketed” this month
Perhaps in large part to the first two factors above, sales of existing homes skyrocketed a record 11.8% from January to February 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist explained, “A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound.”
Selling, buying, or refinancing a home is looking more and more rosy and attainable these days. If you are interested in getting a mortgage to purchase a new home, or refinancing your current mortgage to consolidate your debt and lower your monthly expenses, please contact us today.
David A. Krebs is a licensed mortgage broker offering commercial and residential loan programs beyond your regular bank. Call us at 321-239-2781, click here to submit a message, or click here to book a free consultation.