In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), the average mortgage rates contined to inch higher at the end of 2017.


  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.99 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 28, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.32 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.44 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.38 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.55 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.47 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.39 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.30 percent.According to Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac:

    “As we expected, mortgage rates felt the effect of last week’s surge in long-term interest rates in the final, shortened week of 2017. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased 5 basis points to 3.99 percent in this week’s survey. Although this week’s survey rate represents a five-month high, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are still below the levels we saw at the end of last year and early part of 2017. Mortgage rates have remained relatively low all year.”

    A Town’s Walkability Becomes More Key

    Millennials are showing a strong preference to walking over driving, and by substantially wider margins than any other generation, according to a new poll of 3,000 adults living in the 50 largest metro areas conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® and the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University.

    Millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a mode of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. They also prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, according to the 2017 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey. They’re also more likely than other age groups to use public transportation.

    Americans say they desire more choices when it comes to transportation options in their community, whether that’s walking, biking, or driving. Eighty-five percent of respondents say that sidewalks are a positive feature they look for when purchasing a home and 79 percent say finding a place that is within easy walking distance of places is also important.

    How to Improve The Odds of an Offer

    Pay attention to the following important details for the best offer on your home:

    Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.

    Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.

    Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.

    Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.

    Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should at least consider lowering your asking price.

    5 Popular Luxury Amenities

    Upscale buyers are “going back and doing more work on their homes,” says Paul Boomsma, president of Luxury Portfolio International in Chicago. Select home designers across the county helped to identify some of the following popular luxury amenities in today’s high-end homes:

    Wet rooms: These rooms boast multiple types of showerheads, a steam feature, and a bench to sit or lie down.

    Infinity pools: These seemingly endless pools are often being combined with a fire feature – such as standing urns – that reflects on the water at night.

    Media centers: High-end media centers that include comfortable seating, high-def TVs, cameras for videoconferencing, and digitally controlled sound systems are being topped off with extra amenities like a wet bar, small catering kitchen, and a refrigerator.

    Wood finishes: More high-end homes are paying careful attention to grain patterns for wood finishes for a more consistent look and focusing on elaborate staining processes that may include up to eight steps.

    Wine cellar: It’s “more than just a closet with wine in it – it’s an intimate entertaining space,” says Malcolm Morris, an architect and owner of MDM Development Architecture, based in Chicago. “Some are in the style of a castle grotto with stone and wood and a little table to have dessert, even within the wine cellar. The lack of windows increases the level of intimacy.”

    Written by Realty Times Staff