“Homebuyers, encouraged by unexpectedly lower mortgage rates in 2019, have created a tailwind – helping to boost demand and inspire existing homeowners to sell their homes.”
Chief Economist at First American
4% fewer properties were sold in our region through June this year than last year. But as always there was considerable variability from market to market as shown on our Regional Real Estate Activity Chart, below. Here is a sampling:
|% Change in Number of Properties Sold First 6 Months|
|# Sold||% Change|
|Cedar Rapids Area||2,276||-2%|
|Galena & Galena Territory||61||-36%|
|Iowa City Area||1,533||-3%|
|Southwest Wisconsin Area||222||-11%|
Nationally, the National Association of Realtors and others project improving sales for the remaining months of the year. This is predicated on more inventory than last year, the decline in mortgage rates, moderating home price appreciation, improving affordability, and strong job prospects, particularly for the young adult cohorts that are buying their first homes.
Home Prices Appreciating
The good news is that our regional, stable market continues to enjoy appreciation in our real estate values. Specific appreciation rates by market are shown, attached. Affordable homes are appreciating much more than expensive homes.
Great Time to Refinance
With interest rates at their lowest levels in 3 years, this is a good time to look into refinancing. People refinance for a variety of reasons: to reduce their monthly payments, to get cash to invest in income property or other investments, to pay off higher interest rate debt, or to do home improvements. It is worth going to Ruhl Mortgage’s website to check out your options or apply online at www.ruhlmortgage.com. It is easy to use via your phone, tablet or computer. Or call 866-441-1862.
Interest rates, as of July 22, with no points were:
15-year Conventional Fixed 3.125%
30-year Conventional Fixed 3.625%
FHA/VA 30-year Fixed 3.250%
5/1 ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) 3.750%