The following is a guest blog from Jeffrey Heckman and Joanne Rotella with Shelter Mortgage Company and does not necessarily reflect the views of GeorgiaMoves.com
1. Mortgage rates pushed lower last week and the main reason was that investors in Japan and China bought US bonds. They did this because Japanese and Chinese currencies have recently weakened versus the dollar making the safety and security of US bonds attractive to investors in both countries.
2. January New Home Sales unexpectedly shot up 10% from December to an annual rate of 468k units. This was the highest level since July 2008. January Pending Home Sales also posted a slight increase.
3. Per FICO, the average credit score in the US is down to 634. At first glance, this is a little disturbing because the minimum credit score to obtain an FHA loan is 640. Looking more closely at credit score stats, however, reveals that the median credit score is 723 and that 73% of all consumers have a score over 650 making them eligible to obtain a mortgage. Thus, nearly 3 of 4 consumers are qualified for financing!
4. Buyers who bought a property with cash less than six months ago have traditionally had trouble obtaining a mortgage. Shelter now has a program that allows financing without this required six month seasoning requirement.
5. A report last week from Zillow indicated that the percentage of metro-Atlanta homeowners under water on their mortgage dropped from 54% in the 4th Qtr of 2012 to 35% in the 4th Qtr of 2013. Although Atlanta joins Orlando and Las Vegas in the top 3 cities in the US with negative equity, this trend is finally heading rapidly in the right direction!
6. The main reason more homeowners have equity in their homes is price appreciation. According to the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the median sales price for January was up 22.4% from the year before to $180,000. S&P Case-Shiller also reported last week that home prices in metro-Atlanta has now had double-digit price increases for 13 consecutive months.
For more information or to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, please contact Jeffrey Heckman with Shelter Mortgage Company at 404-277-6044 or [email protected] or Joanne Rotella at 404-290-4800 or [email protected]