‘Buyers have more buying power’: Banking crisis sends mortgage rates down

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) (Matt Rourke, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s the start of the spring home-buying season and the turbulence in the financial markets is putting some pretty significant pressure on mortgage rates — they are trending down.

The 30-year fixed rate according to Freddie Mac averaged 6.60%, as of Thursday, March 16. That’s down 13 basis points from the week before when the average mortgage was 6.73%. To give you some perspective, this time last year the average 30-year mortgage was 4.16%).

Realtors say this is an opportune time for homebuyers.

“We actually may have a reprieve,” said Diana Galavis, Northeast Florida Association of Realtors President. “So, interest rates have eased up just a bit. That means buyers have more buying power and are possibly able to afford a home here in Northeast Florida,” Galavis said.”

There is a lot of volatility in the marketplace right now, especially with bank collapses and an uncertain economic road ahead.

Those shopping around for mortgages are advised not to shop with just one lender. In fact, mortgage experts say it is best to shop around because doing so could save you anywhere between $600 and $1200 annually

“Right now you are able to shop,” said Galavis. “It’s one of the beauties of being able to be in the market right now. So, I would say have a trusted professional, a realtor, help guide you through the process and shop different lenders and different rates.”

Mortgage bankers say a drop in rates is boosting mortgage demand and they anticipate further rate declines, at least in the short term. It all depends on moves by the Federal Reserve. Analysts say those mortgage interest rates could start to rise, as quickly as they started to decline if the Fed moves to raise rates.

About the Author:

This Emmy Award-winning television, radio and newspaper journalist has anchored The Morning Show for 18 years.