Agency’s National Homeownership Month rate cut in June draws 268 new buyers
For Immediate Release
MaineHousing Public Information Manager
AUGUSTA – MaineHousing celebrated National Homeownership Month in June by lowering its First Home Loan rate to 2.99%, motivating 268 first time homebuyers or military households to place a home under contract and apply for a MaineHousing First Home Loan.
Because of the rate reduction, MaineHousing’s loan reservations for June were up nearly 57% when compared to June 2015.
“MaineHousing took the opportunity presented by National Homeownership Month to launch a very successful rate special campaign in June,” said MaineHousing Director of Homeownership Craig Reynolds. “The substantially lower-than-market rate that we were able to offer greatly increased the affordability of homes being purchased by first-time buyers. We could not be more pleased to know that our First Home Loan program in June alone allowed 268 Maine individuals and families to take the first step toward realizing their dream of homeownership.”
Since January 1, 407 homes have been purchased with MaineHousing’s First Home Loan and 456 loans are in the pipeline. First Home Loans are up nearly 77% when compared to 2015.
For June, MaineHousing’s 30-year fixed rate (0 points) was 2.99%, down from 3.5% that was offered in previous months. Qualified active duty, veterans, and retired military households received a 0.25% rate reduction, and also benefit from the first-time homebuyer requirement being waived. This presented a highly affordable opportunity for Maine’s estimated 120,000 veterans to buy their first home or move up.
Beginning July 1, the First Home Loan rate is up slightly to 3.125% (4.096% APR, 0 points), still below what most lenders currently are offering. The quarter-point rate reduction off the First Home Loan rate for military households remained in place.
Plus, MaineHousing continues to offer eligible first-time, returning, or military homebuyers up to $3,500 towards down payment and closing costs.
Buying a home in Maine is more affordable now than at any time in the last two decades due to increasing rental rates and moderate home price increases. According to MaineHousing’s 2015 Affordability Index, a household earning the median area income could afford to buy a median priced home in most parts of the state. (http://mainehousing.org/policy-research/housing-facts).
MaineHousing’s First Home Loan program is available through more than 40 Green Key Lenders throughout Maine. Our lending partners are community banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies where many Mainers already do their banking.
Our Top 5 Green Key Lenders for the first six months of 2016 were: Regency Mortgage, Bangor Savings Bank, Residential Mortgage, Camden National, and Mortgage Network, Inc.
MaineHousing, too, is recognizing almost 60 real estate professionals throughout Maine who have sold three or more houses to buyers who secured a First Home Loan. We call them First Home Finders, and their contact information is on our website.
For more information on MaineHousing’s First Home Loan program, and to find a list of Green Key Lenders or First Home Finders real estate professionals, please visit www.mainehousing.org/homeloan.