Mortgage rates go down fueling hot market

Mortgage rates have recently dropped again to the lowest rate seen in months. Low interest rates have been one of the primary factors driving the residential real estate market over the last 12 months, and it is continuing to drive sales in St. Louis.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, mortgage rates have dropped below 3% for the first time since February 25. For the week ending on April 22, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has dropped to 2.97%. This is a significant drop from the 3.04% reported last week and especially from 3.33% from a year ago. This is the third consecutive week where interest rates have gone down

The low interests rates are driving demand back up. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported last week that mortgage applications were up 8.6 percent, as buyers take advantage of the low interest to finance their homes.

With mortgages continuing to be so low, the market shows little sign of slowing down. Data from St. Louis Realtor shows that there were1,538 closed sales on single-family homes in March. This was up sharply from the 1,206 closed sales in February, which is seasonally a slow month. This is well below the record high sales numbers in the fall, but still up 2.6% year over year.

Data from Zillow shows steady increase in the price of homes locally over the past year. According to the Zillow Home Value Index, the typical home in Saint Louis cost $152,331 in March, while the typical home in Saint Louis County cost $220,140. These numbers have gone up sharply over the last year, being up 15.2% and 10.9% respectively.

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