Housing Expert Fettke: Mortgage Rate Slide Means Buy a Home

Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 02:25 PM

By Dan Weil and John Bachman

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The recently decline in mortgage rates is a sign for potential home buyers to jump into the market, says Kathy Fettke, CEO of Real Wealth Network, a California-based real estate investment club.

Interest rates rose starting in May amid comments from Federal Reserve officials indicating they would taper quantitative easing soon. But when they declined to taper at their Sept. 17-18 meeting, rates headed back down.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 4.22 percent this week, a three-month low.

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"If interest rates go up, that is a good sign in slowing down any bubbles that could be forming," Fettke told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview. "When interest rates come back down, then people better jump in and buy because that can't last."

Rates are artificially low and being manipulated, she says, presumably referring to the Fed's easing program.

Editor’s Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See If You Qualify)

"It's a great opportunity to lock it in if you can. . . . But again if they [rates] remain too low for too long, there will be bubbles forming, and nobody wants that."

The government shutdown won't affect the housing market, Fettke says.

"With or without a government, people are going to want to live somewhere, and the free market will always win," she said. "The free market in this case means there's going to be less supply than there is demand and that will drive prices up in some areas."

Population is growing and home building has slumped over the past six years, she notes.

Fettke also isn't worried about banks selling a plethora of "vampire" and "zombie" foreclosure homes. In vampire foreclosures, banks seize homes, but the prior owners continues to live there.

In zombie foreclosures, homeowners just abandon their properties.

"Once those zombies and vampires are out and those properties are sold, everything will even out again," Fettke said.

"It's a fairly low number in the scheme of things. I'm not too worried about it because there's such a demand for housing, that it will get gobbled up pretty quickly."

What happens to the vampire and zombie homes depends on what kind of shape they're in, Fettke says. "If they are tear-downs, if they are distressed, . . . prices will be low. That's great for the buyer coming in, not necessarily so good for neighborhood."

The strength of home markets comes down to jobs, Fettke says. "People need to have money in order to afford their homes. Affordability is the key," she said.

"So in areas like Detroit, . . . there's going to be a glut of housing for a while. But then you can see other areas like Texas, you've got Houston and Dallas that are just booming with jobs. Therefore there's a great demand for housing, and that will continue for a while."

Editor’s Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See If You Qualify)

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