Singer Island, Florida – Weekly Condo Market Update: September 9, 2011

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Singer Island, Florida

There are 237 condos for resale on Singer Island; 9 condos are currently pending. Only two condos sold within the past 7 days at an average 93% of list price after an average 50 days on the market.

The average rate for the 30-yr. fixed mortgage fell to its lowest level in six decades. The rate decreased to 4.12 percent this week from 4.22%.  Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35 percent.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate also fell to a new low at 3.33% down from 3.39% last week.  That’s the lowest on records dating to 1991 and likely the lowest ever, according to economists.

Record-low mortgage rates have done little to energize the depressed housing market.  Over the past year, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 5 percent for all but two weeks. That compares with five years ago, when the average 30-year fixed rate was near 6.5 percent.  Yet sales of new homes are on pace to finish the year as the lowest on records dating back a half-century. The pace of re-sales is shaping up to be the worst in 14 years.

Many Americans are in no position to buy. High unemployment, scant wage gains and large debt loads have kept them away.  Others can’t qualify for the lowest rates. Banks are insisting on higher credit scores and 20 percent down-payment for first-time buyers. Many repeat buyers have too little equity invested in their homes to meet loan requirements.

“Low rates are great, but the real issue is that the pool of people who can get a loan or refinance is small,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst.”

Roughly 40 percent of U.S. households have the necessary credit scores above 700 to get a prime mortgage rate, according to an Associated Press analysis of Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO, data.  A bigger issue is just half of Americans say they’ll ever be able to save enough money for any type of down-payment, let alone one as high as 20 percent, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  Nearly a third of homeowners have nearly zero equity or are underwater in their mortgage, according to the real estate research firm CoreLogic. That leaves then unable to refinance because of lender-imposed   limits and the cost of extra fees.

Increased refinancing activity isn’t providing much economic benefit. Without much equity, few are drawing money out for home-improvement projects or other big expenditures.

Mortgage industry experts polled by Bankrate.com are evenly split on what to expect over the next 30 to 45 days; with 31 percent predicting rates will increase, 31% thinking rates will go lower, and the remaining 38 percent saying rates will remain relatively unchanged.

For more information on specific condominium sales activity contact Jeannie at 561-889-6734 or email her at [email protected].

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