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By DeLena Ciamacco on Jan 02, 2020

A note from DeLena:

INTEREST RATES: Fixed Rate mortgage interest rates have increasedslightly since my last reporting to you. As you may have read interest rates have increased, very slightly, since my last update. Interest rates will vary from lender to lender. See below range I averaged from 4 different lenders. 30-yr fixed Conforming 3.5-3.75% FHA 30-yr fixed MIP 3.25-3.375% VA 30-yr fixed 3.25-3.375%

Liked 2019’s mortgage rates? 2020 will be lower…they say. December 23, 2019, 4:09 pm By Kathleen Howley

The year that’s passing was marked by the Fed’s refusal to bend to the president’s will.

The year that’s winding down will be remembered, in the real estate world, for its mortgage rates that persistently and unexpectedly declined.

While rates aren’t going to plunge another percentage point –– they’re going to set some new lows, Fannie Mae said in a forecast. The average fixed rate probably will be 3.6% in 2020, which would be the lowest annual average ever recorded in Freddie Mac records going back to 1973. It compares with 3.9% in 2019 and 4.5% in 2018, according to Fannie Mae. The current record was set in 2016 when the annual average fell to 3.65%.

Mortgage rates are set, ultimately, by bond investors who keep a steely eye on inflation as a gauge of the yields they are willing to take. Rising inflation eats into their returns and leads to higher mortgage rates. In a low-inflation environment, like today, they can still make money while taking low yields, which translates into low rates for borrowers.

For shock therapy, consider the annual average in 1981: 16.63%. That’s not the highest mortgage rates ever booked. Looking at weekly averages, the rate hit 18.6% in mid-1980 as the economy struggled with stubborn inflation.

The man who broke the back of inflation and made sub-4% mortgage rates possible, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, died Dec. 8 at the age of 92.

On Thursday, Sweden – the first country to experiment with below-zero rates after the 2008 financial crisis – reversed course and raised its rate to zero. Other countries that have experimented with below-zero rates, like Germany, haven’t seen it translate into an economic boost. Germany’s economy in 2020 is expected to grow at about half the 2.1% rate projected for the U.S., according to an International Monetary Fund forecast.

Fed meeting minutes released Nov. 22 showed members unanimously opposed to caving to Trump’s demand for negative rates. During the press conference following the Fed’s Dec. 11 meeting, Powell cited Volcker’s example of independence as the Fed’s inspiration.

Marketing Update: In addition to the NUMEROUS real estate websites your listing is marketed on, we updated 5 of our print marketing books in December. We direct mailed them and dropped them off at the various Kroger and Giant Eagle stores where I have purchased stands. We have already noticed many transferees contacting us. We are gearing up for the best time of year, in Central Ohio, for relocating buyers! Visit my Blog at www.delenarealestateblog.com for interesting and helpful tips.

Showing Activity: Although showing activity, on listings around Central Ohio, decreased somewhat in the month of December (as reported by Centralized Showing/Showing time), the showings on my listings actually increased in December (slightly) over November’s activity. If yours did not, however, we expect Buyers will regain momentum now that we are past the Holidays and in another fiscal year (for most). Many will try to purchase before the election of 2020. The New Year typically brings more Buyers!

December 31, 2019, 2:31 pm By Julia Falcon

Foreclosure starts fall to lowest level in 20 years Foreclosure starts are now at the lowest level of the millennium, according to a new report from Black Knight.

November’s foreclosure starts marked a 26% decline from last year’s total. This is the lowest monthly volume since Black Knight began recording the metric in 2000, the company said.

Nationally, the foreclosure rate fell 3% from October, hitting its lowest level since 2005.

For housing -- with a strong economy and consumer, and low rates -- we expect to see the good times to continue into 2020.

Bottom line: we are experiencing a "Goldilocks" situation in the U.S. economy and housing. If you are considering a refinance or purchasing a home, today is a great day to do so. I wish you and your Family the absolute best in 2020 and I am excited to see what “good fortune” 2020 will bring for all of us!! Rest assured, my entire Team and I plan to do everything possible to keep your listing at the forefront and offset the slower winter selling season!

As always, I welcome your call (or email) if you would like to discuss any issue in detail. Please remember, I would be happy to provide an updated market analysis (or current comparable sales) for your review, at your request. I continuously monitor local, state and national market conditions (as they pertain to Real Estate) and will advise if any changes are necessary.

DeLena’s Real Estate Blog

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