Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows as Home Prices Continue To Rise

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Waterfront Properties and Club Communities sales agents are expecting a strong summer season in South Florida.

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The S&P / Case-Shiller home-price index covers 20 major housing markets, half of which jumped in value by 10-plus percent. The South Florida Metropolitan Area that includes home for sale in Palm Beach County is among the elite group of 10.

According to a new report by Freddie Mac, mortgage-interest rates have hit all-time lows, and the popular 15-year-fixed note has hit a record low: 2.56 percent.

Most recently, the 15-year-fixed note stood at 2.61 percent. In 2012, it was 3.07 percent. More popular that the 15-year-fixed note, the 30-year note dropped slightly to 3.35 percent, a number four-hundredths of a percentage point above the record low set last year.

Such record-low and near-record-low mortgage-interest rates not only have the chief economist at Freddie Mac smiling, they also have the sales agents at Waterfront Properties and Club Communities looking forward to the summer season.

Another factor driving the housing market’s recovery is rising home prices, which are buoyed by news the federal government will continue to invest monthly in U.S. Treasuries and in mortgage-backed securities, a strategic economic program called quantitative easing.

Homes for sale in Jupiter, as well as around the country, will continue to be available at “fantastic rates,” said Keith Gumbinger, of the loan-information Web site HSH.com, who predicts the fragile-yet-improving economy will prompt the Fed to continue the quantitative-easing program for the foreseeable future.

As most everyone knows from high-school economics class, affordability boosts demand, and demand boosts prices. In the past year, single-family-home prices have soared by more than nine percent, the S&P / Case-Shiller home-price index states. The February report, the latest month for which figures are available, said the 9.3-percent year-over-year gain is the most significant since 2006. The January gain came in at 8.1 percent.

The S&P / Case-Shiller home-price index covers 20 major housing markets, half of which jumped in value by 10-plus percent. The South Florida Metropolitan Area that includes homes for sale in Palm Beach County is among the elite group of 10.

The news led David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P / Case-Shiller home-price-index committee, to say the housing industry is one of the economy’s “brightest spots.”

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