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Mortgage Rates Declining

Mortgage Rates Declining

Local Realtors say home sales were strong this winter and 2014 is looking bright for buyers and sellers.

Mortgage rates climbed every week in the second half of 2013, so many were unsure what would happen at the start of this year.

A weak jobs report in the beginning of January caused mortgage rates to steadily get lower this year, and they've been dropping every week so far.

"You don't want to see a bad job report but at the same time you think well that'll make the rates go down," said Tina Miller, a real estate broker with Assist To Sell in Idaho Falls.

She said the low rates are a sign the local housing market will stay stimulated through the year.

"We're holding steady for the most part," said Miller.

Mortgage rates for a 30 year fixed rate loan in January were at 4.53%. By February they dropped to 4.23%.

Borrowers with a 4.23% mortgage would pay $982 a month on a $200,000 balance.

Compare that with a 4.53% loan at the top of the year, that same buyer would have paid $1,017 per month.

Miller said it's all about perspective.

"People my age who bought their first house, interest rates were double digit so when people go 'oh my heck they're up to 4.8,' I say big deal, that was unheard of," said Miller.

Miller said the recovery of the housing market won't be as steady as the decline but locally 2014 is looking to be a good year for buyers and sellers.

"Even if the rates tick up a little bit they're still so good," said Miller.

In the east Idaho market, list to sold prices have held within 1 to 2 percent of each other for about two years.

So list prices have been reflecting the value of homes in this market.

The economic recovery has a lot to do with the improving housing market, but if it slows down, it won't take much to also rattle the housing industry.

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