Interest Rates Still Low on Mortgages

So you've been waiting for the bottom of the real estate market, or maybe the bottom of the march toward record low interest rates on mortgages. Well, you have to wonder how low it will go.

"Mortgage rates are at historic lows," says Sue Stewart, Senior Vice President of Mortgage, Move Inc. "We haven’t seen these lows in about six decades. On a 30 year fixed rate loan, you can expect about 4% and on a 15 fixed you can expect about 3%."

Six decades? That may be an understatement. The rate on the 30 year loan hit its lowest recorded level ever this week.

"I highly doubt they are going to get any lower," says Stewart.

Locking into a low rate can make a huge difference over the life of the loan.

"Your buying power increases when interest rates go down about a point or two," says Stewart.

Of course, there's still the issue of having enough money for a down payment.

"Traditionally, you would expect to put down 10 to 20%," said Stewart. "Yeah, I think most lenders definitely want more skin in the game, so 20% is big on jumbo loans but conforming products still allow 10%."

People who are trying to decide whether to rent or own have many factors to consider. But Stewart says the numbers speak for themselves.

"Over the lifetime, it really makes sense to buy now. With historic low interest rates and historic low home prices, it really is the right time to do it."

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