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December 29th, 2008

“Mortgage Rates Little Changed — and Still a Bargain”

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From the latest issue of HSH’s Market Trends newsletter “Mortgage Rates Little Changed — and Still a Bargain”: “With 2008 poised to come to a close, mortgage markets are alive with low rates and refinance opportunities for good-credit-quality applicants. The last few weeks have been perhaps the best of the year for everyone involved in the mortgage industry. Ringing phones and chances to make commissions and fee income wouldn’t normally be so welcome in the midst of the holiday season, but after a very difficult year this situation is perhaps the most desired Christmas gift of all:”

Recent drops in interest rates have homeowners rushing to call local banks and mortgage lenders about refinancing. Loan applications are pouring in.

”We got 53 calls to my branch on Friday,” said Todd LaPenta, a private mortgage banker at Wells Fargo on Lincoln Road in South Beach. “We could only help about five.”

Yet, the ongoing boost in refi activity hasn’t yet caught up with the monthly purchase numbers. Despite the steep 8.6% drop in the sales of existing homes, and the 3% decline in New Home Sales in November from October, we are predicting that purchase activity will pick up in the new year. Considering the extraordinarily-low numbers, there’s  little place for them to go but up. The combination of the historically-low mortgage rates and “the Fed’s unwavering influence in the market, the odds of that are quite good” that home sales will rise.

Click here to read the rest of “Mortgage Rates Little Changed — and Still a Bargain.” HSH’s free weekly Market Trends Newsletter, an in-depth analysis of various financial markets of the week prior, is published every Monday. Email subscribers receive it in your inbox by Friday night, so sign up today! Also, be sure to check in with our Market Trends blog for all news relating to any weekly shift in mortgage rates.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

Our bloggers:

Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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