Hands Up and Kick the Checkbook Over Slowly

Sunday, 30 June 2013

A one-week move of over a half percentage point in mortgage rates caught everyone's attention this week, especially prospective mortgage borrowers. Freddie Mac reported that the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage increased from 3.93% to 4.46% between June 20 and June 27. That's on top of a similar increase already pressuring mortgage applicants since May 2 when the average rate was 3.35%. In the real world that translates to a monthly payment today for a $250,000 mortgage that's $159 higher than just seven weeks ago. A borrower getting a $250,000 mortgage at today's average rate will pay $1908.000 a year more interest than a borrower of the same amount at the average rate in early May.

Will rates continue their upward trend? No one knows but opinions are abundant. I would normally say do your homework and trust your gut but, in this case, the forces moving rates are too big and complex for a peasant like me to comprehend. Time will tell. In the meantime, inventory of condos and townhomes in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral is back down to 275 total units after briefly getting to 330 units earlier in the year. Median asking price is $210,000. Distressed sales make up 9% of those 275 units with only three of the distressed units asking over $200,000.A total of 52 units (12 distressed) are recorded as having closed in June. At that rate we have but a 5.29 month supply of units for sale.

There are 59 single family homes currently for sale in our two cities with a median asking price of $350,000. Only five are distressed with the highest asking price of the five at $289,900. Nine single family homes are showing as having closed in the month of June. None were distressed.

We are firmly in our usual summer pattern of afternoon thunderstorms and calm ocean waters. Temps have not been unbearably warm and the fishing has been good. As is always the case in summertime, the Cocoa Beach Country Club golf course is wide open, uncrowded and cheap. Tee times unnecessary. We haven't had decent sized waves for a while but there has been a constant small background swell keeping the kids and longboarders satisfied. I'll see you outside. Stay hydrated and don't forget the sunscreen.