2014 was a banner year for Houston real estate. Thanks to a strong, recovering economy and low Houston mortgage rates, the city saw the largest amount of home sales on record in 2014, and experts are hoping the positive momentum carries into the New Year.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors, 75,319 single-family homes were sold last year. This is the highest yearly sales total in the recorded history of Houston real estate. With such strong sales, some buyers struggled with a shortage of inventory, but experts believe the pace of sales should normalize this year, allowing inventory levels to rise and bringing more balance to the local realty market.
The Houston Association of Realtors also reported that the average price of a single-family home sold in Houston in 2014 increased 8.7% over the prior year to $279,182. This was caused by high demand and low supply of homes, leading to bidding wars that drove up prices. In fact, the local inventory of homes for sale was the lowest on record at the end of the year.
Houston Mortgage Rates Continue to Decline
While the local economy is expected to be affected by low oil prices which have already led to job layoffs, mortgage rates have been steadily declining, which is a good sign for the Houston housing market. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage nationwide is at 3.66% as of January 15, 2015, down from 4.41% at this time last year. The rate for a 15-year loan is down to 2.98%.
Mortgage rates are at their lowest level since May 2013, and with more inventory expecting to be released soon, now is a great time to be a homebuyer in Houston.
But how long can we expect mortgage rates to stay this low? That’s the question that’s on everyone’s mind, and while no one knows for sure, most experts expect rates to rise slowly throughout the year. Some mortgage companies in Houston and Houston mortgage loans experts have even predicted that the average 30-year mortgage rate will climb to 5% by the end of 2015, a huge increase from where it currently sits.
How to Get Ready to Cash in on Low Interest Rate Houston Mortgage Loans
With mortgage rates at some of the lowest levels we’ve seen in a long time and experts projecting an increase in the near future, homebuyers are encouraged to strike while the iron is hot. If you want to give yourself the best chance of buying a home while interest rates are low, here are a few tips to help you get prepared.
- Get some cash on hand for a down payment— A lot of homebuyers don’t have enough money saved up to make a significant down payment on a home, so they have to pay for mortgage insurance every month. Now is the time to start getting your finances together so you can make a good down payment and keep your mortgage costs down.
- Get preapproved— Sellers prefer working with buyers who are already preapproved by a lender. This adds credibility to your offer and makes you a priority to the seller. If you’re serious about buying a home, start going through the preapproval process now with your lender to get ahead of the curve.
- Don’t do anything to mess with your credit score—Now isn’t the time to change your credit obligations. You don’t want to harm your credit score and end up being faced with higher rates and fees on your loan.
- Get your financial documents together— When applying for a home loan, you’ll be asked to provide all sorts of different financial documents, like bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and so much more. Now is the time to start getting organized!
These are just a few simple tips to help you start getting ready to pounce on these low mortgage rates in Houston. For more help, speak to your trusted team at Mortgage Loans for Texas, one of the top-rated mortgage companies in Houston. We’ll help you navigate Houston mortgage loans so you can get the lowest rates and the best loan for your needs. Learn more at www.MortgageLoansforTexas.com.