Three Reasons to Call Your Lender Now
During a typical winter season, the housing industry hibernates as hopeful homebuyers and sellers hunker down until springtime thaws the cold to make real estate moves. However, this year appears to be far from the norm. The New Year has barely begun and already the stars are aligning for those ready to stick their heads out early – a rarity in January.
“Conditions are very favorable for first-time homebuyers to start getting back into the market,” said global ratings agency Fitch Ratings Director Sean Nelson. “Mortgage rates are falling, Federal Housing Authority Insurance premiums are coming down, home prices are cooling and employment is steady.”
FHA insurance premiums
Earlier in January, President Obama announced that the FHA would reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. According to President Obama, this change could save millions of families “as much as $900 a year, which obviously makes a big difference if their payment is $900 a month. It could be a full month’s payment that they’re saving, and that could make all the difference for a family that is owning its first home.”
The end of last year saw one of the most telling economic factors report positive growth in nearly every pocket of the nation: the employment rate. Last year was the nation’s best year for job growth in 15 years, and economists predict that 2015 will be equally as strong, if not stronger. For once, Georgia wasn’t left out of the good news regarding employment. For the first time in eight years, Georgia saw job growth during the month of December.
Mortgage applications and rates
Expecting homebuyers are taking advantage of these changing tides, in addition to the continued low rates, and are filling out mortgage applications at levels not seen since June 2013. The low rates, hovering around 4 percent, are expected to continue into at least the first half of 2015, according to Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac’s vice president has gone as far to urge the country to take advantage of the current state of affairs.
“On balance there are a lot of positive opportunities in the U.S. economy at the start of the year, and the real question is whether or not households and businesses will be able to seize these opportunities and make the most of them,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Until rates start to rise later in the year, housing markets should respond positively and we anticipate increases in home sales and continued improvement in construction activity.
With employment and mortgage applications on the rise, combined with lowered gas prices, interest rates and insurance premiums, 2015 is ripe to be one of the best years for the housing market and economy in recent memory. Don’t sit on this dawn of a new recovery era. Call your trusted lender to make one of the best possible investments while the economic landscape is in your favor.