Mortgage Rates Are Declining, Home Prices Are on the Rise; Then Why Aren't More People Buying?

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Mortgage rates are falling in Arizona but people are still not buying homes. Zillow, which reports on mortgage rages, says that the Arizona rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 5.01 percent. That rate is in line with the national average, which is now above 5 percent after being under that mark for several days.

Mortgage rates are falling in Arizona but people are still not buying homes. Zillow, which reports on mortgage rages, says that the Arizona rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 5.01 percent. That rate is in line with the national average, which is now above 5 percent after being under that mark for several days.

However, home sales are continuing to be flat in the Phoenix area. Part of the reason could be that the price of homes is increasing. In September, existing home prices increased from $127,000 to $130,000. New home prices increased from an average of $197,948 after hitting a low of $183,750 over the summer.

Even with all the news of increasing home prices and mortgage rates, now is still the best time to buy a home or refinance, said Steve Huml of Phoenix's CFS Mortgage Corporation.

"These rates are likely to increase in the upcoming months," Huml said. "And home prices are also likely to increase. If homeowners are waiting for a better time to refinance or buy a home, it may not happen anytime soon."

Anyone interested in buying a home should start the process for pre-qualifying for a home loan. To pre-qualify, homeowners should make an appointment with a license mortgage broker.

"Before applying, applicants need to get al of their documents together," Huml said. "This includes all proof of debts, income and past tax returns. Applicants who have held the same job for the past two years will have a better chance of qualifying, especially if their credit is good."

Credit scores are important in any economy, but especially in this one, Huml said. Applicants with a credit score of 720 have a good chance of pre-qualifying.

"Pre-qualifying gives buyers the knowledge to know how much of a home they can afford," Huml said. "It's always disappointing when someone thinks they have found their dream home only to find out they cannot afford it."

Huml said he understands the skepticism some people have in this weak economy. But there are no guarantees, even in good economies.

"Just look at how fast things seemed to change last year," Huml said. "No one can predict the future, but you can follow trends. In the past few months, rates have increased along with home prices. If you are ready to purchase a home, there is no better time than now. The same is true for refinancing."

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Chriss Carr
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