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Low Mortgage Rates Continue to Lift the Housing Market

Near-record low mortgage rates are helping the housing market by boosting buyer's purchasing power. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported mortgage applications for home purchases are up 20 percent compared to last year. With average 30 year conforming mortgage rates at 3.63 percent this week, it's no surprise that home buyers are taking advantage of low rates.

30 year mortgage rates are 3 basis points higher than last week's average rate but only 36 basis points from the all-time average low set in early 2013. reported a record number of searches for homes on their website with 2 percent fewer homes available compared to last year.

Homes are also selling at a faster clip this month when compared to sales in March. Nationwide, the median number of days homes were on the market dropped 14 days in the first two weeks of April, compared to the first two weeks of March.

Employment growth is another factor helping spur home sales in 2016. The nation's unemployment rate is at 5.00 percent and is forecast to dropped further in 2016. The Federal Open Market Committee's Summary of Economic Projections has forecast the unemployment rate to drop to 4.7 percent in 2016.

All of these factors point to a banner year for the housing market in 2016. If you're thinking about buying a home, now is one of the best times to do so. Home prices are expected to increase in 2016 and mortgage rates are also expected to move higher. As mortgage rates and home prices move higher, you will be able to afford less home than you could now.

Average 30 year mortgage rates are at 3.63 percent but there are many lenders quoting 30 year rates well below the average. The lowest 30 year rate quoted in our rate database is at 3.25 percent with 2 mortgage points and at 3.50 percent with no points.

The lowest 30 year jumbo mortgage rate in our database is even lower than the lowest 30 year conforming rate. Right now, we have one lender quoting 30 year jumbo rates at 3.125 percent with 2 mortgage points. The lowest 30 year jumbo rate without points is also at 3.50 percent.

Author: Brian McKay
April 20th, 2016