Morning Briefing: Mortgage rates improve from last week

by Steve Randall19 Jun 2015
Mortgage rates improve from last week
Mortgage rates have recovered from a spike last week according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Last week average rates hit a new 2015 high but for the week to June 18 average 30 year fixed rate mortgages were at 4.00 per cent, down from 4.04 per cent a week earlier and 4.14 per cent a year earlier. 15 year FRM’s averaged 3.23 per cent, down from 3.25 per cent last week and 3.30 per cent a year ago. 5 year ARMs averaged 3.00 per cent, down from 3.01 per cent last week and the same as a year ago. 1 year ARMs averaged 2.53 per cent, the same as last week but up from the 2.41 per cent of the same week in 2014.
Apartments are full says new report
The national rental apartment occupancy rate was up to 95.7 per cent in May according to figures from real estate analysts Axiometrics. VP of research Stephanie McCleskey told CNBC: "The May rate historically is the start of each year's occupancy peak, meaning occupancy should remain at the current level or higher.” Rents were up by 5 per cent in the month; a year earlier growth in rents was 3.6 per cent. The trend among millennials of wanting to retain their freedom and the growth in investors is fuelling the demand for rental apartments. Although if availability and rents continue to be challenged more may choose to become first time buyers and the relative affordability of a mortgage. McCleskey says that some markets that have been struggling have seen an uptick in rental activity, including Chicago, Baltimore, St Louis and Detroit.
Hidden costs can add $13k a year to home costs
U.S. homeowners can pay more than $9,000 in hidden and home maintenance costs every year, according to a new analysis by Zillow and online services marketplace Thumbtack. The firms have calculated the hidden costs like property taxes and insurance, as well as five common outsourced maintenance costs, like yard care and carpet cleaning, for the nation and across 15 metros. The national average of the hidden costs is $9,477 but there are wide regional variations; in Phoenix it’s $7,550, in Orlando it’s $10,100 and in Boston it’s $13,930.


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