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What is HARP 2.0 Mortgage Refinance? How can it benefit you as a Utah Homeowner?

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is designed to assist homeowners in refinancing their mortgages – even if they owe more than the home’s current value.
The primary expectation for Home Affordable Refinance is that refinancing will put responsible borrowers in a better position by reducing their monthly principal and interest payments, reducing their interest rate, reducing the amortization period, or moving them from a more risky loan structure (such as an interest-only mortgage or a short-term ARM) to a more stable product (such as a fixed-rate mortgage).

I’m sure you are still wondering “Well how does it work?”. You have to qualify for a HARP Mortgage and this means that you have to be current on your mortgage, verifiable income and your home has to be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There’s a simple tool on our website at www.mymtgsolution.com that will help you find out if your home is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

If you have tried to refinance in the past but were un-able there may still be some options for you. Don’t throw in the towel yet, with mortgage interest rates low, now is the time to take advantage. Contact one of our Utah HARP Mortgage Refinance Experts to learn how you can take advantage today!

 

Bud Bruening

512 E. Winchester

Murray, Utah 84017

Ph. 801.716.5246

Cell. 801.230.3107

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Texas Real Estate Picks up Steam

The Texas economy continues to outpace the nation with modest gains in employment and home sales in July, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Existing home sales in Texas rose 1.5% in July and are 22% higher than a year earlier, the Dallas Fed said.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said the state’s housing price index, which includes only purchase mortgages, inched up 0.3% in the second quarter from the first three months of 2011. Prices are down 2% from a year earlier.

House prices across the nation dropped 0.6% in the second quarter and remain 5.9% below a year earlier, according to the FHFA.

The Dallas Fed said single-family permits in Texas decreased 3.4% and housing starts slid 0.1% in July from the prior month, when starts rose nearly 30%.

The Lone Star State added 25,900 jobs in July after tacking on 33,000 in June, although the unemployment rate rose to 8.4% from 8.2%.

Still the rate is lower than the 9.1% nationally and the U.S. economy did not add any nonfarm payroll jobs in July, according to the Labor Department.

Get the latest Mortgage and Real Estate news at www.mymtgsolution.com

 

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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Why Buying a Home Still Makes Cents!

Posted by Bud Bruening
 
 
Top Reasons to Own a Home
 

There’s good reason that over half of all Americans are homeowners. Social and financial benefits are key factors when it comes to deciding to buy. Homeownership allows people to grow wealth slowly over time, to hold assets that build equity, and to bring stability into chaotic lives.

Despite these facts, homeownership rates have taken a hits since the recession in 2009. Falling home prices along with reduced access to credit has kept many would-be buyers from entering the market. According to Morgan Stanley, the current homeownership rate is around 59.2%. This is lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking in 1965. Has this reduction been a fear-based one?

The top benefits of homeownership haven’t changed, even in the face of a down economy. Here are the top five:

1. Savings: Be sure to check out the calculator at the end of this article. You’ll find that long-term homeownership is still a way to get big savings.

2. Tax Breaks: They’re not on the chopping block just yet. Many homeowners are still able to take the mortgage interest deduction (MID) each year, along with great rebates and credits associated with upgrades made to your home.

3. Equity: When you pay a landlord, it’s money down the drain. When you pay on a mortgage, you are paying towards owning a piece of something. You may still owe $100,000, but perhaps the home is worth $200,000. This means you have $100,000 worth of equity you’ve built up over time.

4. Budgeting: Unless you live in a rent-controlled apartment (and not many do), then each lease renewal could mean a jump in prices. A fixed-rate mortgage, however, means your monthly payment is the same amount for the life of the loan. A $1,000 a month payment on a 30-year mortgage is that same now as it will be in 30 years!

5. Security: When you own, it’s yours. You can paint, improve, and decorate. The trees and flowers are yours to enjoy — for a lifetime if you wish. Most homeowners are in neighborhoods with other homeowners, meaning more time to build relationships and friendships. Recent studies have also shown that homeowners rank themselves as healthier than their renter counterparts.  

Experts have recommended for years that if you’re planning on staying put for 5+ years, buying becomes an increasingly better deal. You have time to recoup any extra expenses found in closing costs and are now making an investment in your future through home price appreciation. Once your mortgage is paid off, you’ll have a real asset. That brings real stability.

Home affordability is at near record highs. Now is a good time to run the numbers and see if buying makes good financial sense. If it does, then you’re in store for a wealth of benefits that only homeowners can experience.

 

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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Home Prices are Up Even as Market Continues to Struggle

Posted by Bud Bruening

According to CNN – Home prices made a comeback during the second quarter, but the struggling housing market isn’t out of the woods yet.

Prices rose a substantial 3.6%, compared with the three months ended March 31. But home prices are still down 5.9% compared with the second quarter of 2010.

The rise in home prices came after three consecutive quarters of drops, as reported by the S&P/Case-Shiller national index — an influential gauge of residential real estate markets.

The year-over-year decline was a bit more than the than the drop of 4.7% that had been forecast by a consensus of experts at Briefing.com.

A separate monthly index of home prices in 20 major metro areas also reported a month-over-month gain of 1.1% for June, and a drop of 4.5% year-over year.

Bud Bruening
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Murray, Utah 84017
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Buffett Dreams up Bank of America Deal While Bathing

First American Express, then GEICO, now Bank of America. Warren Buffett recalls how past crises created big opportunities for Berkshire Hathaway. If he’s right, Berkshire’s $5 billion investment in BofA could be one of its most promising deals ever.

Warren Buffett

A lot to smile about.

Fortune — Early on Wednesday morning, August 24th, Warren Buffett was soaking in the bathtub at his red-brick, white-columned house in Omaha, musing about how he’d made some of his best buys when investors bailed on solid companies suffering a highly-publicized storm. He correctly predicted they’d work through the trouble, and made billions when they recovered. From the tub, Buffett recalled two such occasions.

The first was the Great Salad-Oil Scandal. In the early 1960s, a commodities mogul was taking out big loans secured by what he claimed were giant inventories of salad oil stored in warehouses owned by American Express in Bayonne, New Jersey. As it turned out, the tanks contained mostly water, with salad oil floating on the top for disguise. Shares of AmEx dropped 50%. Buffett pounced, and multiplied his investment five-fold in five years.

The second crisis-driven opportunity came in 1976, when the stock of GEICO collapsed to $2 a share from a previous high of $61. The once conservative insurer had lost its way by underpricing its policies in pursuit of reckless growth, and scrimping on reserves. Once again, Buffett reckoned that GEICO would thrive if its new management restored its low-cost, low-risk strategy. Berkshire Hathaway boosted its holdings as others fled, and by 1996 had accumulated 51% of its stock. That year, Berkshire purchased the remaining shares at $71 for $2.3 billion — 35 times what he paid in the crisis, and a price that now looks like a terrific bargain.

Thirty-five years later, Buffett thought he saw the same pattern in the big company investors reviled more than any other: Bank of America (BAC).

Buffett didn’t even have CEO Brian Moynihan’s phone number, and asked his administrative assistant to find it. When he reached Moynihan at the environmentally-friendly Bank of America Tower in midtown Manhattan, Buffett proposed a deal that was relatively light on dividends, and heavy on warrants that would produce enormous gains if BofA recovers. Moynihan, an experienced dealmaker from his days making acquisitions for Fleet, wanted near-total secrecy. He declined to bring in investment bankers, didn’t consult with lieutenants, and initially discussed the deal only with his chairman, former DuPont CEO Chad Holliday.

Can Brian Moynihan fix America’s biggest bank?

The board voted by phone early Thursday morning. The $5 Billion dollar deal had taken just 24 hours, a pace that could only happen in Buffett-Land. Berkshire Hathaway will receive a 6% dividend, and the right to buy 700 million shares at a price of $7.14. BofA’s shares are already trading over that level.

Fund managers and analysts fear that Bank of America needs to raise lots of additional capital by selling stock, at extremely low prices. They believe the bank lacks the financial strength to cover its big exposure to troubled mortgages. The TV talking heads, disappointed investors, and even investment bankers within BofA who get bonuses in stock and are watching it collapse, take a dim view of its future and Moynihan’s leadership. In the current news cycle, the relentlessly negative tilt about Bank of America now rivals the talk about the European debt crisis.

Buffett takes a different view: Berkshire wouldn’t have invested in BofA if it needed his money. The Berkshire chairman reckons that the bank would work through its current problems, and that the underlying banking business will prove highly profitable.

It’s interesting that it took a dynamo to pull GEICO out of its ditch — an Irish-American executive named Jack Byrne who combined excellent analytical skills with flamboyant salesmanship­­ who would heave his hat into the headquarters’ atrium every morning and rally the troops like Knute Rockne. The financial press and most of Wall Street thought Byrne would fail, and he proved them wrong.

Berkshire’s BofA investment is clearly an endorsement for Moynihan, just as it was a vote for Byrne. And if Moynihan’s claim that BofA will earn as much as $25 billion in a few years proves correct, Berkshire’s profits will exceed $10 billion.

It all started with memories of a salad oil scandal that spooked investors half a century ago.

Many investors see the housing crisis as a similar investment opportunity. The housing industry will recover, the question is when and where? We are already seeing different areas moving at record paces and home values increasing in key locations. The key to taking advantage is buying while home prices and interest rates are low. This could not be a better time to buy Real Estate. Unless you have Buffett’s money and can afford to buy banks.

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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Foreclosures made up 31 pct. of home sales in 2Q

Posted by Bud Bruening – Utah’s Lowest Mortgage Rates

Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales this spring. While that’s a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it’s six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market.

Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

The share of the market would likely have been larger this spring if not for a state and federal investigation into faulty paperwork by banks and servicers. The probe has led many banks to delay foreclosure sales. Once that is complete, foreclosures will likely surge later this year.

As a slice of all home purchases, foreclosure sales peak two years ago at 37.4 percent. In the second quarter, they declined from 36 percent in the January-March period.

In all, 265,087 homes in some stage of foreclosure or owned by banks were sold in the second quarter, down 11 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales of all other types of homes also declined, according to RealtyTrac’s figures, which differ from other home-sales estimates.

Bank-owned homes, which are sold after being repossessed, accounted for nearly 19 percent of all sales. That’s unchanged from the previous quarter.

Distressed properties, often in need of repair, typically sell at big discounts and weaken prices for neighboring homes.

A bank-owned home this spring sold for 40 less than the average price of other homes, according to RealtyTrac. That’s up from 36 percent in the previous quarter and 34 percent from the same quarter one year ago.

Sales of homes in the foreclosure process or short sales went for 21 percent less than the average home sold, the firm said. That’s up from an average of 17 percent in the first quarter and 14 percent in the second quarter of 2010. A short sale is when the lender agrees to accept less than what is owed on the mortgage.

The average sales price of a foreclosure property was $164,217, down less than 1 percent from the January-March quarter and nearly 5 percent from the April-June quarter in 2010, the firm said.

Nevada led all states with foreclosure sales, accounting for 65 percent of all home sales, RealtyTrac said.

In Arizona, foreclosure sales represented 57 percent of all home sales for the quarter, up 16 percent from a year ago. In California, foreclosure sales accounted for 51 percent of all home sales in the second quarter, virtually unchanged from last year.

Several other states had foreclosure sales that accounted for at least one third of all home sales in the first quarter: Michigan, Colorado, Florida, Illinois and Oregon.

There are unique mortgage programs out there for buying foreclosures. If you or someone you know is looking to purchase a foreclosure you need to contact the foreclosure / REO Financing Experts at the Mortgage Solutions Team in Utah. Utah Foreclosure Finance Programs include: Fannie Mae’s HomePath Financing as well as Freddie Mac’s HomeSteps Mortgage Loan Programs.

 

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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eBay announces BIG expansion in Draper Utah

ebay

Posted by Bud Bruening – Utah’s Lowest Mortgage Rates

eBay and the Utah Governors Office of Economic Development (GOED)announced today that they will be expanding and building a new state-of-the-art facility in Draper, Utah.

“eBay has been a valuable, visible Utah company for more than a decade,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “This agreement will bring new operating units and new jobs to the State. When world-class companies like eBay pledge partnership with Utah, it is a vote of confidence in the economic growth and stability that we are currently enjoying.”

eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace announced plans to create up to 2,200 new jobs in Utah over the next 20 years. All of the incented jobs will exceed 125% of the county’s average wage including full benefits.

This could prove to be a big boost for businesses in Draper as well as its Real Estate market. eBay will be expanding its workforce by over 2,480 Utah employees at an average salary that will exceed 125% of the Salt Lake County average wage. If eBay meets these hiring goals it will result in $127,186,975 in new state tax revenue over the 20-year project timeline.

These new employees will need places to live, dine and spots for entertainment. Over the next several years the City of Draper , Utah will see some big benefits from eBay and it’s expansion.

 

 

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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Drop in Mortgage Rates has Utah Mortgage Refinance Applications Skyrocketing

Posted by Bud Bruening

The recent drop in Utah Mortgage Rates has Mortgage Brokers scrambling to get their clients the very best rate available. According to FHA, Multifamily loan applications have broken previous records.

The FHA fiscal year ends in October. So far, it endorsed nearly 1,100 multifamily loans, seven times the amount three years ago. For only the second time, loan activity surpassed $10 billion.

For the entire industry, commercial and multifamily originations doubled in the second quarter from last year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“FHA has never been more relevant in making sure the multifamily apartment marketplace continues to function even during these tough economic times,” said Carol Galante, FHA’s acting commissioner. “While we’re seeing record volume, we also recognize we have to accelerate the time it takes us to process these applications so we continue to meet this demand at the very time the market needs us the most.”

USDA Mortgage Financing and VA Financing has also seen a huge increase in loan origination business. USDA and VA Mortgage Financing both offer 100% financing meaning that a prospective buyer can buy a home using these types of loan programs without have a down-payment.

Down-Payment Assistance programs in Utah have also seen a huge increase in applications. Down-Payment assistance programs allow home buyers to get financing without having a down-payment.

For questions about Utah Mortgages and Utah Down-Payment Assistance Programs give the Mortgage Solutions Team a call.

 

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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It’s Official, It’s Now Cheaper to Buy a Home Rather than Rent!

Posted by Bud Bruening – Utah’s Lowest Mortgage Rates
 
HOMEOWNERSHIP BEATS RENTING IN 74 PERCENT OF MAJOR U.S. CITIES
Trulia Releases Summer Rent vs. Buy Index, Revealing Housing Market Rebound in Miami and Continued Setbacks in Detroit, Fresno and Sacramento

SAN FRANCISCO, August 16, 2011 – Trulia today released its Summer 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index, which compares the cost of buying and renting a two-bedroom apartment, condominium or townhouse in America’s 50 largest cities based on population.

 

Homeownership Affordability Remains High
Based on current market conditions, buying a home
is cheaper than renting in 74 percent of major U.S. cities. Meanwhile, it is clearly better to rent in New York, Fort Worth, Omaha, Seattle, San Francisco and Kansas City. In between both sides of the rent versus buy spectrum, there is a grey area. Depending on personal circumstances, such as one’s tax bracket, it may make more sense to buy a home in Oakland, Austin, San Jose, Memphis, Boston, Los Angeles and Portland, even though it is still relatively cheaper to rent.

Top Five Cities Where Buying Beats Renting

#

City

State

Price:Rent Ratio

1

Las Vegas

NV

6

2

Detroit

MI

7

3

Mesa

AZ

7

4

Fresno

CA

7

5

Arlington

TX

8

Top Five Cities Where Renting is Cheaper than Buying

#

City

State

Price:Rent Ratio

1

New York

NY

36

2

Fort Worth

TX

32

3

Omaha

NE

27

4

Seattle

WA

24

5

San Francisco

CA

24

NOTE: The price-to-rent ratio is the median listing price divided by the annualized median rent. Ratios that are 15 and under indicate buying is less expensive than renting, while ratios that are 20 or higher indicate renting is less expensive than buying.

 

Housing Market Rebounds and Setbacks in Foreclosure Hotspots

Buying a home in cities flooded with foreclosures continues to be considerably cheaper than renting, but this may be poised to change in the coming months. In Miami, for example, it is still less expensive to buy, but a mini-buying boom created by foreign investors and foreclosure freezes have caused its price-to-rent ratio to jump by 112 percent from 6 in January to 13 in July. Meanwhile, recent job gains in the auto industry have not countered Detroit’s falling home prices. For now, the city has experienced a setback since January with its price-to-rent ratio dipping 39 percent. Las Vegas, on the other hand, continues to be the best place to buy instead of rent for the past six months.

#

City

State

Price:Rent Ratio

July 2011

Price:Rent Ratio

January 2011

% Change

1

Miami

FL

13

6

112%

2

Phoenix

AZ

8

8

1%

3

Las Vegas

NV

6

6

-7%

4

Tucson

AZ

13

14

-10%

5

Mesa

AZ

7

8

-11%

6

Sacramento

CA

8

13

-17%

7

Fresno

CA

7

11

-32%

8

Detroit

MI

7

12

-39%

PRE-APPROVED QUOTES

  • “While recent stock market volatility on top of the slow economic recovery makes homebuyers nervous, it has not destroyed the American dream of homeownership. However, prospective homebuyers, who are ready and qualified to buy, face an uphill battle despite falling home prices and record-low mortgage rates,” said Ken Shuman, Head of Communications at Trulia. “Today, many banks are actually less enthusiastic about approving residential mortgage applications, which has dragged out the home buying process. Until a middle ground on lending practices can be met, many highly-qualified buyers may be forced to be renters by choice for now.”

  • “Many aspiring homeowners are on the fence about renting and buying in today’s market. Should they take advantage of falling home prices and low borrowing costs, or should they continue to rent until the economy stabilizes?” said Ken Shuman, Head of Communications at Trulia. “Price alone should never be the sole factor in deciding to purchase a home. Instead, buyers should first ask themselves if they plan to live in the home for at least seven-to-10 years, could make monthly payments on the house, and have enough cash in the bank for a down payment and an additional six to eight months worth of mortgage payments. If you can answer ‘yes’ to each of these questions, then the cost of buying a home definitely outweighs renting in most cities.”

 

METHODOLOGY
Trulia calculated the price-to-rent ratios for the 50 largest U.S. cities using the median list price compared with the median rent on two-bedroom apartments, condominiums and townhomes listed on Trulia.com as of July 1, 2011. To view the complete methodology including sample price-to-rent ratio calculation, interpretation key for the ratio and definitions, click
here.

 

The Mortgage Solutions Team in Utah has that resources you need to get you the very best Mortgage Programs and lowest  Mortgage Rate available. If you are looking to Purchase a home or Refinance your existing home, give us a call. We work one on one with our clients and tailor a mortgage program to fit your needs. We create solutions for all your Mortgage needs.

 

 

 

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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Utah Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows….. Actual Record Lows, not just the fluff you’ve heard on the T.V. and Radio for the past 4 years either.

15300065

I saw this article on KSL.com and had to share with you. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to its lowest level on records dating to 1971.

The rate on the most popular mortgage dipped to 4.15 percent from 4.32 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac said Thursday. Its previous low of 4.17 percent was reached in November.

The last time long-term rates were lower was in the 1950s, when 30-year loans weren’t widely available. Most long-term home loans lasted 20 or 25 years.

Few expect record-low rates to energize the depressed home market. Over the past year, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 5 percent for all but two weeks. Yet prices and sales remain unhealthy and are holding back the overall economy.

Five years ago, the average 30-year fixed rate was near 6.5 percent. In 2000, it exceeded 8 percent.

Most homeowners are paying rates more than a full percentage point higher than the current average. The average rate on all outstanding mortgages is 5.3 percent, Freddie Mac said, citing data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

After previous recessions, housing accounted for 15 percent to 20 percent of overall economic growth. This time, in 2009 and 2010, housing contributed just 4 percent to the economy.

“The housing market is not going to turn around because of this, because it isn’t the mortgage rate that matters,” said Joel Naroff, head of Naroff Economic Advisors. Naroff blamed the “horrendous” process of qualifying for a mortgage despite tougher lending standards. He said trying to sell a home in many markets is just as difficult.

Many would-be buyers can’t take advantage of the low rates. The unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, few Americans are getting raises and many are struggling to shrink their debt loads.

Banks are also insisting on higher credit scores and larger down payments for first-time buyers. Many repeat buyers have too little equity invested in their homes to qualify for loans. Others are too nervous about the economy or their job security to invest in a home.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage, which is popular for refinancing, fell to 3.36 percent, also a record low. It’s the third straight week of record lows for the popular refinancing option. Freddie Mac’s records date to 1991, but analysts believe the new low on the 15-year mortgage is the lowest ever.

Borrowers who qualify have rushed to refinance and take advantage of the low rates. Refinancing accounted for 70 percent of mortgage applications in the first half of the year, Freddie Mac said. Refinances  tend to provide less benefit to the economy than home purchases do.

Mortgage rates typically track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Economic fears have drawn investors to the safety of Treasuries, driving down the yield on the 10-year note to barely above 2 percent. That has helped lower mortgage rates.

The Federal Reserve offered a dim outlook of the economy last week, saying it expects growth will stay weak for two more years. As a result, the Fed said it expects to keep short-term rates near zero through mid-2013.

Roughly 14 million Americans remain unemployed. And the economy isn’t creating enough jobs to rapidly trim that figure. The economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.8 percent in the first six months of this year, the slowest such pace since the recession officially ended more than two years ago. In June, consumers cut spending for the first time in 20 months.

Fewer Americans bought previously occupied homes in July for the third time in four months, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday in a separate report. It said sales fell 3.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.67 million homes. That’s far below the 6 million that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.08 percent, its lowest level on records dating to January 2005. Last week’s reading of 3.13 percent also was a record low. The week before was, too.

The average for one-year adjustable-rate loans fell to 2.86 percent, the lowest on records going back to 1984. Last week’s average of 2.89 also set a record.

As always, for questions regarding mortgage refinances and home loan purchases in Utah give the Mortgage Solutions Team a call. We offer mortgage advice and free mortgage rate quotes.

 

Bud Bruening
512 E. Winchester
Murray, Utah 84017
Ph. 801.716.5246
Cell. 801.230.3107
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