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Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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Real Estate Market Trends: A New Low for Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates hit a new record low. Learn more about rates, housing affordability and other real estate market trends.

| BY Adriana Reyneri

Interest rates have hit a record low for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, according to data released today by Freddie Mac.  In other real estate market trends, housing affordability improved in the third quarter of the year and rents are out pacing inflation.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.34 percent for the week ending today, according to Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored enterprise established to increase the supply of money available for mortgage lending. This week’s rate edged below the record rate of 3.36 percent reported for the week ending Oct. 4.

A look at historical data maintained by Freddie Mac puts these 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates in perspective. These rates average 3.38 percent in October 2012, up from 4.07 percent in October 2011. Dial back to October 2002, and rates averaged 6.11 percent. Twenty years ago, the average was 8.09 percent.  Rates averaged 16.04 percent for all of 1982 and were 14.61 percent in October of that year.

The current record low interest rates are supporting positive real estate market trends. The National Association of Home Builders, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association, today announced improving housing affordability in the third quarter of the year. Low interest rates helped offset rising home prices, according to the association. Slightly more than 74 percent of the homes sold in the third quarter were affordable to U.S. households earning the median income of $65,000, according to the associations Housing Opportunity Index. That’s up from 73.8 percent in the second quarter.

“The median price of all new and existing homes sold in the third quarter was $189,000, which was up from $176,00 in last year’s third quarter and the strongest number we’ve seen since the first three months of 2008,” the association’s chief economist, David Crowe, said in a statement. “But at the same time, mortgage rates were at their lowest levels in decades.”

Do the latest real estate market trends signal a housing recovery? Prices have made seven consecutive months of gains. Residential construction increased by more than 26 percent over the first three quarters of the year, and home sales for the first nine months of 2012 are 9 percent higher than the same period last year, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said in a recent blog.

“On the surface the housing numbers are looking better and trending in a healing direction,” Nothaft said. Headwinds to these real estate market trends are chronic high unemployment, elevated foreclosures and subdued demand from young adults who chose to live with their parents rather than form their own households.

In other real estate market trends, rents are rising at the fastest pace in four years, outpacing inflation, according to a statement released today by Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.