Low Mortgage Rates Make 2012 Record Year for Home Affordability

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2012 will go down as the year that homes were the most affordable ever according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Affordability Index. For those who can actually get a mortgage loan, record low mortgage rates and declines in home prices over the past several years have made homes more affordable than ever.

The NAR's National Housing Affordability Index was at 198.2 in November 2012 and the NAR predicts the index average for the 2012 year will be at 194 - a record high. The index is based on the relationship between median home price, median family income, and average mortgage interest rates. The higher the index number, the greater the household purchasing power for consumers.
Loan Type
Purchase    Refinance
Location
State/City    Zip Code
Loan Amt Points FICO % Down
  
$
30 yr fixed refi in 23223, All points, Credit score: 740+     Sort by:
Lender
APR
Rate
Cost & Fees
Notes
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Bank of America
Bank of America
300000
Refinance
4.326
4.250
USD
Bank of America
4.326%
2/13/2019
4.250%
at 0.472 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,475.82
Fees in APR: $1,289
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from TD Bank, NA
TD Bank, NA
300000
Refinance
4.403
4.375
USD
TD Bank, NA
4.403%
2/8/2019
4.375%
at 0.000 pts
45 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,497.86
Fees in APR: $982
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Apple Federal Credit Union
Apple Federal Credit Union
300000
Refinance
4.596
4.500
USD
Apple Federal Credit Union
4.596%
2/13/2019
4.500%
at 1.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,520.06
Fees in APR: $352
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Fulton Bank, NA
Fulton Bank, NA
300000
Refinance
4.686
4.625
USD
Fulton Bank, NA
4.686%
2/12/2019
4.625%
at 0.375 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,542.42
Fees in APR: $1,007
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Virginia Credit Union
Virginia Credit Union
300000
Refinance
4.547
4.500
USD
Virginia Credit Union
4.547%
2/12/2019
4.500%
at 0.000 pts
45 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,520.06
Fees in APR: $1,650
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Citizens Bank, NA
Citizens Bank, NA
300000
Refinance
4.665
4.625
USD
Citizens Bank, NA
4.665%
2/15/2019
4.625%
at 0.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,542.42
Fees in APR: $1,408
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Santander Bank, N.A.
Santander Bank, N.A.
300000
Refinance
4.683
4.625
USD
Santander Bank, N.A.
4.683%
2/15/2019
4.625%
at 0.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,542.42
Fees in APR: $2,004
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from LincolnWay Community Bank
LincolnWay Community Bank
300000
Refinance
4.406
4.375
USD
LincolnWay Community Bank
4.406%
2/12/2019
4.375%
at 0.000 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,497.86
Fees in APR: $1,085
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Raymond James Bank, NA
Raymond James Bank, NA
300000
Refinance
4.788
4.750
USD
Raymond James Bank, NA
4.788%
2/12/2019
4.750%
at 0.000 pts
45 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,564.94
Fees in APR: $1,299
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from State Department Federal Credit Union
State Department Federal Credit Union
300000
Refinance
4.557
4.500
USD
State Department Federal Credit Union
4.557%
2/11/2019
4.500%
at 0.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,520.06
Fees in APR: $2,000
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Northwest Federal Credit Union
Northwest Federal Credit Union
300000
Refinance
4.545
4.500
USD
Northwest Federal Credit Union
4.545%
2/13/2019
4.500%
at 0.500 pts
45 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,520.06
Fees in APR: $79
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Bank of Oak Ridge
Bank of Oak Ridge
300000
Refinance
4.304
4.250
USD
Bank of Oak Ridge
4.304%
2/14/2019
4.250%
at 0.353 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,475.82
Fees in APR: $853
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Armed Forces Bank, N.A.
Armed Forces Bank, N.A.
300000
Refinance
4.904
4.875
USD
Armed Forces Bank, N.A.
4.904%
2/8/2019
4.875%
at 0.000 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,587.62
Fees in APR: $999
 
 

Mortage Data Provided by Bankrate.com Many lenders have different rates on their own Websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. In order to get the Bankrate.com rate, please identify yourself as a Bankrate.com customer. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the lender you choose, please click here.

The rates above were collected by Bankrate.com on the dates specified. Rates are subject to change without notice and may vary from branch to branch. Rate/APR and terms may vary based on the creditworthiness of the individual and the extent to which the loan differs from the one used for Bankrate.com quotes. For criteria used in surveys of rates above, click here. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and brokers, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site, where you can find additional information.






Unfortunately, very tight lending restrictions by lenders is preventing many consumers from getting a loan and is hampering the housing recovery. For consumers who can get a mortgage loan, 30 year mortgage rates today can be found as low as 2.875 percent with points. Current mortgage rates on 15 year conforming loans can be found as low as 2.25 percent with points.

The NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun said:
Although 2012 was highest on record, the excessively tight underwriting precluded many would-be home buyers from locking-in generational low interest rates. Rising home prices and a gradual uptrend in mortgage interest rates will offset improvements in family income, but 2013 likely will be the third best on record in terms of household buying power. A window of opportunity remains open for buyers who can qualify for a mortgage.

Today's mortgage rates, even at record lows, will move even lower in the beginning of 2013 but will probably head higher later in the year. Higher home prices expected in 2013 will cause the home affordability index to decline, meaning that homes are expected to be less affordable in 2013 then they were in 2012. The NAR projects the housing affordability index to average 160 during 2013.

If you're in a position to buy a home and have been waiting on the sidelines for home prices to drop further or mortgage rates to drop lower, you should take the leap and buy a home. Home prices have been increasing for the past 15 months are expected to move higher.

If you have been thinking about refinancing your current mortgage loan, you should do it now because refinance rates are expected to increase in the second half of 2013. This is true for both fixed mortgage rates and adjustable mortgage rates on both conforming and jumbo mortgage loans.
 
Author: Brian McKay
January 13th, 2013