Coronavirus concerns lead to drop in mortgage rates

Published: Mar. 8, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT
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Our economy has seen a ripple of effects from the coronavirus, including stocks dropping and plummeting mortgage rates to around three percent. But that's why real estate agents are saying now is the best time to buy a house in years.

If you check the stock market, you may see more red than green right now. And while stocks suffer - mortgage rates are also low. That's actually a good thing for people looking for their next home. Logan Harrison has been renting, but is looking for a new home in Botetourt.

"I'm tired of just wasting money every month on our apartment, I just want my own house," Harrison said.

With low rates, now could be the time to get out of a rental agreement.

"Because right now you're getting the lowest rates possible, so what you're doing is getting a 30- or 15-year-fixed rate to guarantee those low payments for the whole life of your loan," Sean Kosmann, a Loan Officer for Integrity Home Mortgage, said.

These low rates are due in part to the coronavirus.

"The coronavirus kind of dropped the stock prices, and so we kind of counterbalance to that, so because the stock market is down, our rates go down as well," Kosmann said.

CBS News Business Analayst Jill Schlesinger says investors worried about the economic impact of coronavirus are buying safer U.S. Treasury bonds, which pushes down rates for the 10-year Treasury.

"That's important because mortgage rates often key off of the 10-year Treasury," she said.

So more people like Harrison are touring houses, trying to take advantage of these rates.

"I want to get a house really soon," Harrison said.

"It is an excellent time to buy, and you can probably afford a home that is twice the size of what you are renting," Katy Cookston, Team Leader for Katy and Co Real Estate, said.

Cookston says it's also a good time if you're looking to put your house on the market.

"You're going to get multiple offers if it's priced right." she said.

Kosmann added, "It's a phenomenal time to sell; as long as they're priced appropriately, they're going to move off the shelf pretty quickly."

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