Mortgage rates rise 0.7 points
Last week, mortgage rates rose an average 0.7 points, according to Freddie Mac. Realtor Magazine reports a “series of recent positive reports showing the housing market on the mend” may have affected mortgage rates, halting the downward trend.
Increase in home sales highest in over a year and a half
Existing home sales for December of last year increased 5 percent from the month prior — the biggest month-to-month increase since May, 2010. It is also a 3.6 percent increase year over year from December 2010, when 4.45 million units were sold.
Recovery on the way?
NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, thinks these may be early signs of a sustained recovery — “Record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices are giving more consumers the confidence they need to enter the market.” (via RealtorMag)
NAR President Moe Veissi believes that with steady improvement in the job market, the housing market will also improve, as more home buyers try to make the most of market conditions — low prices and low rates — in 2012.