Local News

Low Mortgage Rates a Gift for Everyone

Posted December 29, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— One of the nicest gifts of the holiday season is the drop in mortgage interest rates. Prospective home owners and those wishing to refinance are finding that the new year will ring in with some of the lowest home mortgage rates in years.

Nationally, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 6.99 percent this week.

The rates are just as low here in the Triangle, so if people thinking of buying a new home in '98 would be wise to hustle up their decision-making.

The Lipson family did just that, spending less time in the malls this holiday season and more time choosing a house. As soon as they were able to lock in the mortgage at the fixed rate they sought, they signed on the dotted line.

They couldn't have picked a better time. This holiday season, mortgage rates are the lowest they've been in three or four years here in the Triangle. The rates are 7 percent for a 30-year loan and about 6 percent for a 15-year.

Most observers feel that anytime rates are this low, in single digits, it's an excellent opportunity to buy that home, either a first home or to move up.

Traditionally during the holidays, not many people are in the market for a house.

But agent Shields Pittman says the people who are looking are far more serious about their intentions.

But while rates are low right now, they could start to move up at any time. So people who are interested are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity as soon as they can.

Lipson thinks she and her husband were wise to deal with house buying now, even though it was slap in the middle of the holidays. "We said, "Let's just do it."

The Lipson family said they considered waiting for even lower mortgage rates, but decided to act now just in case the rates started to inch back up again.

Reporter:Wisdom Martin