Low mortgage rates increase the affordability of Orange County homes

Following the housing bust of the mid-2000s, many potential homebuyers were unable to attain residential financing. Many lenders tightened their lending standards in an effort to reduce the fallout of the economic crash. Now, a few years later, many banks and financial institutions are once again providing Americans with affordable financing thanks to mortgage rates hovering near record low figures.

According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.39 percent for the week ending November 1, 2012 - down from 3.41 percent the previous week. For the same time period in 2011, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4 percent.

For potential homebuyers looking at a mortgage with a shorter pay-back time like a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage may be the right residential financing choice. The source claims that the average 15-year mortgage rate was 2.7 percent for the week ending November 1, 2012 - down slightly from 2.72 percent the previous week. One year ago the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.31 percent.

"Mortgage rates remained relatively unchanged this week on signs of a growing economy and low inflation. The economy grew 2.0 percent in the third quarter with residential fixed investment contributing 0.3 percentage points to growth. The core price index of personal consumer expenditures grew 1.7 percent between September 2011 and 2012 and was within the Federal Reserve's preferred target range," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

The greater affordability of residential financing will allow more potential homebuyers to explore the MLS listings in Orange County for the right property. The strengthening real estate market of the region could attract people looking for a strong investment in a quality community.

According to real estate news and custom data provider DataQuick, the median price of a home in Orange County was $450,000 in September 2012 - up 5.9 percent from a year ago. Property values are not the only thing increasing, the source claims that the number of home sales improved as well. About 2,677 houses were sold in Orange County during September 2012 - an increase of 6.7 percent compared to September 2011.

In an improving market like Orange County, affordable mortgage rates and increasing home values could entice potential homebuyers to purchase a property in the near future.