1999 Mortgage Rate Updates 

 December 31, 1999

By George  

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Below is an archive of all the Mortgage Rate Updates we sent out in 1999. We keep these records here for historical reasons for searchers who want a history of rate hikes and drop for the year. 1999 was a relatively stable year, with rates stabled around 7.5%. There was inflationary fear that kept these rates high and the stock market was on fire. See our 2000 Mortgage Rate Updates Archive to see how the dot com bubble affected everything.

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June, 1999

Summer has arrived, and although this is typically not one of the most active times for Real Estate sales (vacations often take precedence!) We are hearing a number of reports of areas in both the U.S. and Canada where activity is at the highest level in years for this season.               

Mortgage Rate Update

In the U.S., mortgage rates showed a slight increase from the previous week, averaging 7.5% for a 30 year mortgage with 1 point. In Canada, 3 year closed term rates are in the 7.4% range. Although there have been some increases, these rates still represent a market that is at or below the average for the last 5 years.

Will rates go up or down? Like any question relating To financial markets, knowing the precise answer to a question like this could make you millions! It is obvious, however, that the general rate trend is slightly upward, so if you are planning a home purchase that involves a mortgage, sooner may be better than later. Additional mortgage information can be found at this link       

New on the Site

Building a Home

If you haven’t visited the Home Buyer’s Information Center site in the last few weeks and have an interest in building a home, you’ll be interested in our new section on new homes and homebuilding.

We have received a number of requests to address this topic and have added the section to help with decisions about whether to buy an existing home or build one, hints on building a new house and how to find a contractor. Building a house requires a different approach from buying a re-sale, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process if you want a new home.

Updates to the Site

We’ve been busy in late May and early June making updates to several areas within the site, including:


July, 1999

The first 2 weeks of July have been hot and humid in much of North America, and the housing market has remained hot and active in many areas. We are still receiving reports of housing inventory shortages (more buyers for certain price range properties than houses available) in a number of locations. Traditionally, though, there is often an increase in availability in late summer, so now may be a good time to begin your preparation work.                       

Mortgage Rate Update

In the U.S., mortgage rates showed a slight decrease from the previous 2 weeks, averaging in the 7.4% range for a 30 year mortgage with 1 point. In Canada, 3 year closed term rates are in the 7.3% range.

What is the prognosis for future rates? Much of the recent economic news has been favorable for mortgage rates, but of course that can change rapidly. Our advice would be to concentrate on the “home finding” process and when you have found a good choice, use the mortgage comparison tools that are available.

New on the Site

Housing Types

One of the first choices (after the initial decision to buy a home and the choice of the general area) will be the type of house that will best fit your personal situation—Single Family, Townhouse or Condominium. Your needs and wants (and of course, your budget) will be the biggest determining factors in the type of house that will be best for you, but there are other factors that should be considered. We have devoted a new section to just that discussion which lists many of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of housing.


August, 1999

Due to some degree to the increases in mortgage rates (see the next story), Real Estate markets in many areas of North America have cooled just a bit in the last month. For buyers, this can be a mixed blessing. Higher rates may mean higher payments, but a less active market often means both more availability of properties and a better bargaining position.

Mortgage Rate Update

As of early August, in the U.S., mortgage rates showed a definite increase from the previous 2 weeks, averaging in the 7.8% range for a 30 year mortgage with 1 point. In Canada, 3 year closed term rates were also in the 7.8% range.

What is fueling the rate increases? Largely it has to do with inflation fears. Mortgage rates are closely aligned with inflationary indexes and the latest news has not been exceptionally good.

Additional mortgage information can be found at the link given at the beginning of this sentence.

New on the Site

Real Estate & Mortgage Glossaries

If you are buying a house for the first (or maybe the second or third!) time, you will quickly be aware that there are a lot of terms and “lingo” common in the Real Estate and Mortgage industries that you may not be familiar with. We’ve added several new pages with the most common terms and their definitions.

We have always had an area where we answered some of the most common questions posed by home buyers. We have added the capability within the last week for you to ask a specific question and we will either answer it for you or attempt to direct you to more information.


September, 1999

Summer is virtually over, the kids are back in school and it is time once more for many consumers to concentrate on the home buying process again. With mortgage rates smoothing out a bit, we have seen a noticeable increase in the amount of activity in most areas, both in new construction as well as existing housing.           

Mortgage Rate Update

As of early September, in the U.S., mortgage rates finally showed a bit of stability (and even a bit of a decrease!) averaging in the 7.75% range for a 30 year mortgage with 1 point. In Canada, 3 year closed term rates were in the 7.65% range.               

Why the stability? It may be that the mortgage market has settled just a bit, even though the economy is still growing and inflationary fears are still lurking on the sidelines. Does it make sense to wait? You never can be too certain, although we have seen analysts who are predicting 30 year rates in the 8.25% range by the end of the year.

New on the Site

Budget Tips

Buying a house can definitely make big dents in your household budget! Not only is there usually an increase in your monthly outlay for a mortgage, there are often increases in utility costs and maintenance costs, not to mention the furniture and drapes and…

Getting a handle on your budget is a desirable activity at any time, but it is definitely important at home buying time and shortly thereafter. We have added a whole new section on hints and tips on saving money on your big (and your everyday) purchases. You’ll find the budget tips here.   


October, 1999

We delayed the newsletter for a couple of days this month to try to get a feel for the changing economic situation and maybe give a few pointers. The only thing that is obvious, though, is that the situation is changing—almost by the hour! The stock market, bond market and interest rates are up and down daily without any clear trend. The one bright note is that after all the ups and downs, most economic indicators are at about the same level that they were 2 weeks ago.               

Mortgage Rate Update

As of mid October, in the U.S., mortgage rates have continued to show a bit of stability, averaging in the 7.75% range for a 30 year mortgage with 1 point—about the same place rates were a month ago. In Canada, 3 year closed term rates were in the 8.00% range.               

Will the stability last?

Consumer prices in September were about what was expected, which has cooled inflation fears a bit. With many mortgage rates still under the 8% level, it may be an advantageous time to start your application and lock-in plans.       

New on the Site:

“Should I Pay Points?”

Part of the mortgage comparison process, along with the obvious rate check, is the question of points. Since points (or lack of them) will determine your total mortgage cost, taking a few minutes to compare can save you lots of money. Randy Johnson, author of How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Your Home Mortgage, the largest selling mortgage book in the country, has written a guest article that answers the question “Should I pay points when getting a mortgage?”

New on the Site

Mortgage Hints and Tips

We’ve added a section with a number of quick hints on mortgages and financing including rates, terms and more.


November, 1999

Welcome to the November edition of the Home Buyer’s Information newsletter.

The real estate market, overall, still shows good signs of strength for this time of year. New home sales may be flattening just a bit, but resale activity remains fairly strong for the holiday period.

Mortgage Rate Update

As of mid November, in the U.S., mortgage rates have actually showed some signs of improvement, averaging in the 7.50% range for a 30 year fixed mortgage with 1 point—a decrease of about a quarter point. In Canada, 3 year closed term rates have remained fairly stable in the 8.00% range.       

In the U.S., the rate increase by the Fed did not seem to have a strong effect on the fixed rate mortgage market. Economic forecasters are fairly divided on the future track of rates. Some are pointing toward a slight increase, others to a moderate decrease but many are taking a “stability” posture—subject to, as always, the effects of inflation.

New on the Site

Mortgage Questions

We have compiled a number of the most frequent questions we

receive regarding the mortgage process with answers that will help to steer you in the right direction. It can be a complicated process and the more information you have at your disposal the more successful you will likely be.


December, 1999

Welcome to the December edition of the Home Buyer’s Information newsletter. With the holiday season upon us, activity has slowed a bit in the housing market–normal for this time of year. For those looking for value, though, it often can be an advantageous time, due to the decreased number of competing buyers and the increased time that many homes have been on the market.

Have a suggestion for a topic for this newsletter or have you used our site to assist you in purchasing a home, please let us know what you found the most helpful.

Mortgage Rate Update

If there is one word that describes the mortgage market at the beginning of December it is “stable.” After months of bouncing all around the landscape, the mortgage market has calmed considerably, with 30 year fixed rates in the 7.65% range. For those who have been checking the rates almost hourly to see their progress, it may give you a little bit of breathing room!

New on the Site

First Time Buyer Section

The Home Buyer’s Information Center covers the whole spectrum of buying a house, whether it is your first or your 15th home–but first time buyers often have their own unique needs. For this reason we have devoted a whole section to first time home buying with links to the most important areas of the site as well as those areas that can save the most time, money and aggravation.

Common Mistakes Made by Home Buyers

When you see the actions of tens of thousands of home buyers, you can sense a trend of the most common mistakes that are made in the process. We have summarized many of these–so you don’t make the same homebuyer mistakes–in a special section.

For more information on new homes and buildings, please see the section devoted to that subject on the site.

From all of us here at the Home Buyer’s Information Center, here’s wishing you a safe and joyous holiday season. If you have been stressing due to the home buying process, take a couple of days off, relax and enjoy yourself and visit us after the holidays–we’ll be here to help!

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2000 Mortgage Rate Updates

2000 Mortgage Rate Updates