So here we are on day 294 of 2011, and we’re all pissed that banks are looking at our cash flow in order to buy a stupid house. Meanwhile, we all sit on the sidelines, watching these awesome interest rates go to waste.
So it’s not all of us, but most of us. And yes, for most of us, these rates are just gut-punches reminding us of how greedy we were a few years ago. But don’t interest rates prime the homebuying pump? Not exactly. We didn’t have 4.11% average rates on a 30-year fixed this time last year, and Denver Realtors sold 7,580 homes* in 2010. Besides the fact that the total seems low for such an awesome town like Denver, it gets better.
This year, with interest rates tickling 3. range, we’ve sold 6,011 homes. That works out to 7,313, give or take a Victorian, if homes continue to sell in the 4th quarter like they sell in the 2nd. 4.4% isn’t too bad, all things considered. Well, consider the plummet from 2009 to 2010. We sold 8,811 homes in 2009 with 30-year rates nearly a point higher. I’m not sure if banks are happy with this puzzler: one on hand, they’re doing everything in their power to lose less money on short sales; hold onto foreclosed inventory longer, and hand jumbo loans to those who already have that much money in the bank.
The worst part is that people who actually didn’t get greedy over the last few years can totally cash in. If you pay off your credit cards off every month, have a credit score over 750 and actually have money in the bank, you’re something that the financial industry would call a “well-qualified buyer.” Of course, a grocery store clerk would also call you that, but the frightening headlines in newspapers and on television are designed to get people with poor credit and little money to keep watching. Assuming you’re too productive to watch the news, you’ll find that not only is the water is fine, but very few people are wading in it.
Look at it another way: banks don’t like to spend money on anything, but they will chop down forests to clog your mailbox with credit card offers. If this is happening to your mailbox, you are a “well-qualified buyer.”
Besides, for once, wouldn’t it be nice to call the bank’s bluff?