Mortgage rates continue to ease

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Mortgage rates continued to ease this week.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.31 percent from 4.37 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. A year ago, the average rate was 3.49 percent.

The 15-year, fixed rate mortgage also decreased to 3.39 percent, down from last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago, the average was 2.8 percent.

"Mortgage rates eased for the second consecutive week which should help to alleviate market concerns of a slowdown in the housing market,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist and vice president said in a statement. “Thus far, existing home sales for June were the second highest since November 2009 and new home sales were the strongest since May 2008. In addition, the low inventories of homes for purchase are putting upward pressure on house prices.”

In Virginia, the pace of residential home sales for the second quarter of this year is 11 percent higher than the second quarter of 2012, according to the Virginia Association of Realtors. In fact, the VAR said the market is performing better than the second quarter of 2010 when it received a boost from tax incentives. 

Every region in the commonwealth increased their homes sales in the second quarter. The median sales price in Virginia is up 7.8 percent over the past year to $269,000. Average days on market decreased 16 percent in  the second quarter to an average of 71 days.

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