CAMB: First Half of 2007 ‘Ideal’ Time to Buy

The California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB) today issued its annual Mortgage Forecast, projecting that interest rates will remain favorable in 2007 with the rates likely to remain within one percent of current low levels. As part of the forecast, the trade association recommended the first half of 2007 as the best time to get a good deal on a new or existing home. “Interest rates will remain extremely favorable to borrowers in 2007,” said Jack Williams, president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers. “Fixed rate loans are making a comeback for those who are refinancing while alternative loan products are likely to remain popular because of high housing costs.” Four hundred members took part in CAMB’s fifth annual survey during the months of October and November of 2006. Survey highlights include the following: 36 percent of members believe that interest rates will rise by less than one percent while 29 percent believe they will stay the same. 26 percent felt rates will decrease by less than one point, while another seven percent felt rates will rise by more than one point, and two percent felt rates would decrease by more than one point. 38 percent of members believe that home prices will decrease slightly (less than five percent), while 26 percent believe there will be a slight increase (up to five percent). Other projections included a significant decrease (19 percent), no change (12 percent), a significant increase (two percent), or other options (three percent). 29 percent of members believe that the prime fixed rate loan will be the most popular in 2007, primarily due to refinancing by recent buyers who are seeking to capitalize on recent appreciation and escape alternative loans. Other popular loans included the interest-only loan (25 percent), prime adjustable loan (23 percent), the hybrid adjustable (15 percent), and the non prime loan (eight percent). However, 36 percent of those surveyed feel that the interest-only loan will be the most viable product for consumers due to the continuation of high housing costs in the state. According to the forecast, other viable mortgage products will include hybrid ARMs (21 percent), traditional fixed rate loans (20 percent), option ARMs (five percent) and the extended fixed rate mortgages (18 percent), which include the 40-year and 50-year loan. 35 percent of those surveyed believe that January through March will be the best time of the year to purchase a home, while 31 percent project that April through June will be the best time. 17 percent felt July through September is a good time while another 17 percent believe that October through December is better. “The first six months of 2007 will probably be the ideal time for consumers to purchase a home,” said Williams. “During that period, there will be fewer buyers, more housing inventory, low interest rates, and more motivated sellers.”

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