Do you have an insect infestation? Is it more expensive to rent or to own? These are just a few of the questions asked by the U.S. Department of Housing and Census Bureau's 2013 American Housing Survey, an annual poll that covers the myriad of details affecting today's homeowners.
Based on the survey results, it appears that owners are now facing more affordable conditions, among a variety of other issues - some positive and negative. For example, 10.3 percent of all households dealt with signs of cockroaches over the past year, HousingWire reported. Mice were a problem for 9.1 percent of homes.
On the other hand, the survey found that the median monthly housing costs are going down for homeowners. It was at $1,008 in 2011 and $934 in 2013. Renters saw a different trend, with costs going from $845 in 2011 to $850 in 2013. Another positive for owners is the finding that fewer homes had moderate or severe physical problems over the past several years.
Mortgage rates continue decline
The good news for the U.S. housing market doesn't end with the 2013 American Housing Survey. According to Freddie Mac, residential financing rates have dropped to their yearly lows amid the current economic climate in Europe.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97 percent for the week ending Oct. 16, finally dipping below 4 percent. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.18 percent during that time, while both adjustable-rate mortgages decreased as well.
"Mortgage rates were down sharply following the decline in the 10-year Treasury yield for the second straight week," noted Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Rates are at their lowest levels since June 2013 amidst continued investor skepticism regarding the precarious economic situation in Europe."
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