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Housing prices go up as mortgage rates go down

Two reports show that dynamics are improving for homeowners looking to sell.

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A pair of reports released Thursday offer some hope for Florida homeowners looking to sell.

While neither shows, nor claims to show, that the real estate market is rebounding, they are at least indicators that not all hope is lost after major dips in Florida’s housing sales the past 12 months.

The first is from Freddie Mac. It shows that despite mortgage rates remaining nearly double what they were a year ago, they’ve fallen for the fifth consecutive week. The second is from a California real estate firm which, using data from Zillow, finds Florida saw the biggest increase in home prices in the country last year.

Taken together you get a picture not of a resurgence but of homeowners possibly getting a chance to cash in as lower rates help create, at least some, demand.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Jan. 19, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.15%, down from 6.33% the previous week. The 30-year average rate a year ago was 3.56%.

As for the average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, it dropped to 5.28%, down from 5.52% a week ago. It stood at 2.79% a year ago.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says rates are at the lowest level since September as inflation “moderates” and that this is “boosting both homebuyer demand and homebuilder sentiment.”

The boost in demand will be music to the ears of many a Florida homeowner given the findings in a study commissioned by RubyHome Luxury Real Estate out of Santa Monica.

According to the study, Florida home prices rose 19.9% over the past year with the average home price now at $404,939.

Florida topped the list of states with the biggest price increases, followed by South Carolina and Vermont.

South Carolina home prices rose 19.2% with the average housing price now at $300,667. And homes in Vermont rose 16.9% with the average home price now at $386,285.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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