Ah, January 23, 2009. It was 11 years ago today that Mrs. Ure and I met. So it’s supposed t0 be a good day, if not a holy one.
Here’s what’s going on in the mortgage and real estate world in Salt Lake City, UT this week:
Residential housing starts fell again in December as the now officially recognized recession, credit crunch (meaning banks being given billions that is being used to remodel CEO’s offices ala Merrill Lynch instead of lending it to you) and general financial crises continues. New home starts fell nationwide 15.5% to an annual pace of 550,000. Figures for Utah have not been released yet.
Jobless claims raised 62,000 nationally for the week ending Janurary 17, but locally our unemployment rate remains less than half the national average. In fact, 96.5% of Utahans are employed.
A slight uptick in rates last week slowed the recent surge of refinance activity nationally as MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) reported the applications index fell 9.8% for the week ending January 16. Of course this is only what the banks see and doesn’t include what is going on with independent brokers who orginate over 60% of all mortgage loans. It may be that being brokers represent more transparency in the loan process and generally lower rates and closing costs than banks borrowers shifted their business even further to them. If anything, I got busier in last two weeks.
The good news, even though you wouldn’t know it by what you see on the nightly news (because they never report the good stuff. I mean really, did they report how great the real estate market was when it was booming?) is that home sales in Salt Lake City over the past 30 days are right on par with home sales during the same period last year. The bad news for those seeking short-sales and foreclosures is that less than 10% of the homes currently on the MLS in Salt Lake City are of those varieties. The reality is that it’s not as bad as the media would have you believe. At least, not in Utah.
As of this morning, here are the rates on popular loan products.
For Salt Lake City, UT today’s average mortgage rates are as follows:
30-year fixed: 5.125%
15-year fixed: 4.75%
Conforming Jumbo 30-year fixed: 5.875%
FHA 30-year fixed: 5.50%