30 Year Mortgage Rate Falls to Record Low Again. Yes it's the perfect time to buy

Posted by Donny Mak on Saturday, February 18th, 2012 at 1:00am.

Mortgage Applications on the rise

They’ve been keeping records on mortgage rates since the 1950s. Presumably, the return of World War II vets to the states, and the birth of both the baby boom and the ensuing housing boom prompted the government to decide they should start keeping tabs on these kinds of things. Some context, my Dad bought a house on the Southside, behind the old Hope Haven Hospital on the corner of Bartram and Atlantic, for $15,000. That building is gone, replaced by condos. There’s a Publix across Bartram Road where the Atlantic Drive-In Theatre used to be. If you remember any of this, you can qualify for a discount at Denny’s.

During the week of ending February 10, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage fell to 3.87 percent. This the ninth time in the last twelve months that the mortgage rates have fallen. (Just two weeks before, the rate was 3.88 percent).  The 15 year rate sunk as well to 3.14 percent – another record low.

Signs of life are beginning to appear.  Applications for mortgages have gone up over the past month, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

It is a fact of life here in Jacksonville (and we’re one of a handful of cities that can claim this) that it is cheaper to buy than rent, More folks are heading into the banks, getting qualified, putting down 10% to 20% and taking advantage of these low rates.  

If you believe as most analysts do, that rates will stay low, you can now rent to own with as little as 3% - 3.5% down, repair your credit and still get a rate under 4% when February 2013 rolls around.

We’ll have to watch the rental market closely to see if there’s a correlation, but if by the fall of 2012, the ratio of renters to buyers (rent to own or conventional) doesn’t change, there’s something terribly wrong here. 

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