Thursday, March 29, 2001

Local mortgages at or below 7%

5 Tristate lenders revisit '98 levels

By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Several Tristate mortgage lenders, including one of Cincinnati's largest banks, are offering 30-year mortgages at 7 percent or below.

        The decline marks the first time in two years that local rates have dropped to that level, which is great news for consumers looking to buy or refinance homes.

        The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate $100,000 mortgage with no points was 7.16 percent this week, according to a weekly survey of 21 lenders by the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.

        But four lenders offered mortgages below 7 percent: Third Federal, Humbert Mortgage, American Mortgage and Ohio Savings Bank.

        Fifth Third, the area's largest bank, said its rate Wednesday was 7 percent.

        The last time the average rate on a 30-year home loan hit 7 percent locally was Dec. 28, 1998. Since then, rates have risen as high as 8.70 percent in May and have been fluctuating just above 7 percent in recent weeks.

        The falling rates can mean big savings for consumers.

        The monthly payment on a 30-year, fixed-rate $100,000 mortgage at 7.16 percent is $676.15.

        In comparison, the payment on that same mortgage a year ago at 8.37 percent was $759.72.


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