News Articles, Real Estate

[轉載] Inventory is falling and Rates are climbing

今天的水星報報導二篇有關地產和貸款利率的文章, 如果你沒看到, 這裡是文章連結:

Lower prices luring home buyers in Silicon Valley
SUPPLY OF AVAILABLE PROPERTIES IS FALLING
By Sue McAllister, Mercury News 6/19/08

Far fewer homes sold last month in Santa Clara County than in May last year, and median prices fell 12 percent. But amid the grim figures may be a glimmer of good news.

Sellers and buyers are striking as many deals now as they did in 2005 at the height of the boom, according to data from local brokerages, and the number of homes for sale in the county has been falling steadily – not at all typical for this time of year.

Real estate information firm DataQuick Information Systems reported Wednesday that the sales of 1,040 previously owned single-family houses closed escrow in Santa Clara County last month, up from 924 in April, but down 27 percent from May 2007. And the median price paid for those houses was $696,500, down 12.3 percent from $793,750 a year earlier.

The figures will strike some homeowners – loath to see their property values fall – as somber. The bright side is that the Silicon Valley market has sped up recently. More houses are selling, and the supply of homes on the market is falling.

"We're getting more consumers putting deals together," said Dave Walsh, president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors. "It does not mean that the market has bounced back. What it means is we're not in a softening market right now. Prices are fair, the affordability indexes are more in line, and more people can qualify for mortgages now. Buyers are still very choosy about what they pay. They're not willing to overpay."

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Mortgage rates hit nine-month high
SECURITIES INVESTORS DEMAND MORE AS A HEDGE AGAINST INFLATION
By Sonia Narang, Mercury News 6/19/08

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are expected to reach a nine-month high of 6.42 percent today, according to mortgage financing company Freddie Mac.

The threat of rising inflation has bumped up long-term interest rates over the past few months, analysts said. On June 12, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.32 percent and the 15-year rate stood at 5.93 percent, the highest numbers since October 2007.

Some experts attribute recent mortgage rate hikes to inflation-related concerns raised by Federal Reserve officials.

"This led some market participants to believe that the Fed will raise rates more aggressively over the year than previously thought," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.

Inflation pressures tend to drive up mortgage rates because investors in mortgage-backed securities – who are ultimately responsible for providing the funds to make mortgage lending possible – demand higher rates of return for their investments when there's inflation on the horizon.

While rising crude oil and gasoline prices have led to increased concerns about inflation, some analysts believe that interest rates on loans will begin to settle soon.

"It's very common for mortgage rates to move a lot in a short period of time and show little movement over an extended period of time," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

"We're months away from an interest rate hike," he added. "But mortgage rates tend to move in advance of the Federal Reserve actually changing interest rates."

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