Mortgage and real estate news this week: Rates trending down, advice for buyers

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As the weather cools across much of the country, so are the mortgage and real estate industries. But less activity doesn’t mean nothing is happening, and here are some of the most important trends we wrote about this week.

1. Mortgage rates keep sliding

We could write something like this every week, in fact we have. Even so, as mortgage rates stay on their downward trajectory, it is worth highlighting major milestones. This week, Bankrate’s weekly survey showed the average interest on a 30-year fixed mortgage to be below 3 percent for the first time ever. So: it’s a great time to consider buying a home or refinancing your mortgage if you haven’t already.

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2. Millennials poised for historic homebuying surge

Millennials have a reputation for being late to the homeownership party, but CoreLogic predicted that trend will start to turn around in 2021. The firm said millennials are poised to go on a real estate buying binge thanks to low interest rates and relative financial security. CoreLogic also said mortgage rates are likely to stay low into at least 2023.

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3. How to get a small mortgage

If you’re looking to take out a home loan worth less than $100,000, you might struggle to find a lender to work with. The return for banks is usually lower on smaller loans, and amid the crush of refinance and new mortgage applications, many lenders are prioritizing higher-value deals. But you do have some options for smaller mortgages, including working with community banks or considering home equity alternatives to cash-out refis.

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4. Advice for buying in a seller’s market

The housing market today is competitive thanks to low interest rates (have we mentioned interest rates are low enough yet?) and limited real estate stock. If you’re looking to buy a home, don’t let your emotions take over, prepare to bargain, and be careful about buying at the price peak.

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5. Why mortgage rates are still so low in an improving economy

You’re going to keep hearing from us about those low rates for a while. Mortgage rates traditionally go down when other economic indicators do poorly, and rebound as the economy improves. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended that trend as it has made the rest of the world topsy-turvy, and despite an improving economy, mortgage rates are on track to stay low for a while.

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