LONGVIEW, Texas —
As people are staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, East Texans are still purchasing new homes.
“I'm told that when we go to close, it'll be like a drive-thru closing and our realtor won't be able to be there or nobody,” Kree Fisher, who is in the process of closing on a new home in Marshall said. “That it’s just me, my husband and I guess the person who is closing.”
Despite a global pandemic and primarily virtual means of communication, Fisher says the virus didn’t slow them down from finding a new home.
In fact, Kenneth Travis the Branch Manager at Trademark Mortgage in Longview is still seeing what he considers a high number of clients.
“We've been extremely busy,” Travis said. “We have 30 home buyers that are purchasing homes in the month of April. I think it's a much better time to purchase a house today than to put it off. We've seen rates lower in the last 30 days than we have seen them in the last 30 years.”
Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giant, reported a decline in home buyer demand because of current economic conditions, but as people receive support from the current stimulus package that could change.
It also reported the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate at 3.3 percent at the end of the week on April 2.
“If someone could purchase a home at 5 percent, maybe $100,000 is the most they can buy, well, your rates go down to 3 percent, now they can purchase a $150,000 home and it has the same payment,” Travis said. “It's a great opportunity for some people to move up buyers and move into a bigger home with rates being so low and maybe something that's more preferable, and there’s safe ways for people to still purchase a home.”