Mortgage Interest Rates Hit Record Low

Mortgage rates hit a record low today. And the Houston housing market is taking off as a result. Over the past few weeks — Houston's real estate inventory has dropped.

Mortgage rates are the lowest they've been since the 1950's when long-term loans were first implemented.

Freddie Mac says the rate dropped to 3.83 percent on a 30 year fixed mortgage. Rates for 15 year mortgages are even lower at 3.05 percent.

Stacy London is president of Houston Capital Mortgage and says the lower interest rates have already caused volume to pick up.

"I would say at least 25 to 30 percent from what we were seeing around March. Some of that is seasonal, because the housing season really does start kind of around spring break and it goes until after Labor Day, but rates are certainly driving people into the marketplace."

In fact, so many people are buying houses right now that in many cases new inventory only stays on the market for about
a week.

Danny Frank is Chairman-Elect of the Houston Association of Realtors. He says right now Houston is a seller's market.

"You know our inventory levels are at an all-time low. We're at about five months of inventory, which is in all instances a seller's market in the Houston market. So I think this could further drive down the inventory levels which will start bringing the prices of real estate even higher than they already are in Houston."

Both Frank and London say sales may be further boosted by the rental market which is at an all-time high. They say people who are paying high rental rates or who have a hard time finding rental property could, in some cases, get a better deal buying a home.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...