If you’re in the market to buy a new home, here is a list of five trends that you will be able to look forward to this spring.
1. Mortgage rates rising, but not skyrocketing. It looks like mortgage rates have already gone as low as they are going to go. Many borrowers missed that small window earlier this year. That doesn’t mean that mortgage rates are now going to skyrocket. The Mortgage Bankers Association found that the 30-year fixed rate will average around 4.3% in the second quarter. That’s up from the first quarter, but still low.
2. Buyers are competing with investors. Thanks to reasonable mortgage rates, low home prices and rising rent, the housing market is a great opportunity for investors. This is especially true at the lower end of the market with first time homebuyers. One major advantage investors have is many of them can pay cash. Sellers almost always prefer someone who can pay cash so they can close the deal quickly.
3. Homebuyers are ready to commit. They are seeing that the market’s not going any lower so they are ready to make their purchase. The price gap between what sellers are asking and what buyers are paying is getting smaller; therefore home sales are improving. Consumer confidence is on the rise; also more renters are making the move towards buying.
4. Refinances are getting easier. Homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages, who are also current on their payments, will be able to refinance with lower fees through the FHA streamline refinance program. This program only applies to loans that were closed before June 2009. HARP is another government program put in place to make refinancing easier for homeowners.
5. Mortgages might increase. Unless you are part of the HARP or FHA program you will probably pay more for a mortgage in the spring because loan fees were increased in April. Those with low down payments will definitely notice the increase.