Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Local housing notes

Interest rates fell last week, according to the Idaho Housing Finance Association website http://www.ihfa.org/

The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is down to 4.6 percent, according to IHFA. Freddie Mac listed the average 30-year rate at 4.76 percent while 15-year mortgage rates were reported at 3.97 percent.
Appraisers report challenges, writes Kim Cooper, a local real estate broker, Realtor and the spokesman for the Coeur d'Alene Association of Realtors.
"With rates like these many of us would like to refinance but are unable to do so due to market declines in recent years," said Cooper in a Sunday column in the Coeur d'Alene Press. "If you bought during the peak years of 2005-2007 and had a low down payment you may not have enough equity to meet the debt to equity bank requirements to qualify for a lower interest rate.

"Appraisers who rely on information and statistics report it challenging to find good, comparable properties within recent sales data," Cooper said. "Even if you have the nicest home on the block it may not appraise high enough to get you the loan you want."
Commercial activity is warming up, and homes priced higher than average are also seeing buyer activity, Cooper said.

The average price of homes listed in the Coeur d'Alene MLS in the first two months of 2011 is $154,253, down 9 percent from  $170,440 last year. 

Fewer homes in the $200-300,000 category sold in the first two months of this year compared to last year, according to figures compiled by the Coeur d'alene Association of Realtors and the sale of homes priced higher than $1,000,000 have also fallen behind last year with one sale reported so far in 2011.

For more of this article visit http://www.cdapress.com/real_estate/article_23723958-3806-53fe-9989-084c6b292c0d.html
-Ralph Bartholdt

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