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HOUSING MARKET: Low Mortgage Rates Boost Sales

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Realtors say the fall months are never as good as spring or summer, but thanks to lowered interest rates October is looking pretty promising.

Joe and Gail Blaesing sold their last home in three days. 15 years later and ready to sell again, they knew they wouldn’t be as lucky. Joe Blaesing says, “Just you know the economy is still slow and we were a little concerned about that.”

Now retired, selling their home became a new job.

Joe says, “It’s sort of the wait. You know you’re just waiting. And then you get a call and you have to polish up your house real quick and take off. It’s just something you’re not used to doing.”

It took longer than their last sale, but it was still well below the Iowa’s average of 79 days for September. Broker associate Sue Mears says October is looking more promising than ever. Mears says, “I’ve sold in this town for 25 years. This is the best October I’ve ever had.”

Realtors say this is one of the best years they’ve seen in a long time. They say combining that with mortgage rates dropping this week is encouraging potential homebuyers.

On paper the change in rate from 4.28 % to 4.13 % for a 30-year mortgage doesn’t seem like much. However mortgage planner Tyler Osby says that small change can make a big impact on buyers. Osby says, “One percent in rate means a 10 percent impact in payment.”

He says the slight change in rate isn’t going to make people buy bigger houses, but it does increase confidence and comfort in a potential purchase.

Even with an improving market, Blaesing says there’s a reason moving is on the list of stressors next to death and divorce. They say it will feel like they retired all over again, once they’re in their new home.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the recent drop in rate is the lowest it’s been since last June.