TRENTON, N.J. – To further boost the positive upswing in the state’s housing market, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) today announced a new, fixed interest rate mortgage of 3.75 percent (est. APR 3.86 percent) with a 30-year term and no points for qualified first-time homebuyers and Urban Target Area borrowers. The new interest rate, which becomes effective today, is the lowest rate ever offered by the HMFA. The Agency has $170 million to lend at this historically low interest rate, which will fund approximately 1,000 conventional mortgages.
In addition to the 3.75 percent Home Buyer Program interest rate (est. APR 3.86 percent), the HMFA is also offering a low interest rate mortgage program for members of the New Jersey Police and Firemen's Retirement System who have a minimum of one year of creditable service. The current interest rate is fixed at 2.88 percent (est. APR 2.95 percent) for a 30-year term with a maximum mortgage amount of $417,000. This financing can be used to buy an owner-occupied principal residence.
“There has never been a better time to buy a home in New Jersey. These new, attractive mortgage interest rates coupled with plenty of quality housing in the state’s inventory create a perfect scenario for those contemplating their dream of home ownership,” said Acting Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III, who is Chair of the HMFA. “You’ve heard about the “Jersey Comeback”; along with creating jobs, improving our schools and fostering thriving communities is providing housing opportunities. Home ownership is a critical part of the Jersey Comeback and we are confident these new rates will jump start the real estate markets.”
March is traditionally the start of the critical spring home buying season, especially for families with young children who need to purchase and move into a home before the September start of the school year. According to U.S. economic figures, the housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring buying season and the trend is clearly upward. Sales of previously occupied homes are at their highest level since May 2010.
More first-time homebuyers are making purchases. And the supply of homes fell last month to its lowest point in nearly seven years, which could push home prices higher. Sales have now risen nearly 13 percent over the past six months, according to U.S. economists. While they are still well below the 6 million that economists equate with a healthy market, the gains have coincided with other changes in the market that suggest more sales are coming.
“The HMFA’s core mission is to provide funding for affordable home ownership and housing opportunities for New Jersey residents. This includes offering affordable home mortgages for first-time home buyers and encouraging owner-occupied housing growth as a means to stabilize urban neighborhoods,” said HMFA Executive Director Anthony L. Marchetta. “This new, low interest rate achieves both goals. We are so pleased to offer this opportunity to people who might otherwise not be in a position to buy a home and to contribute to the 'Jersey Comeback'.”
HMFA loans are made even more affordable because HMFA borrowers can take advantage of the Agency’s very attractive Smart Start down payment/closing cost program. Accumulating the funds for down payment and closing costs of purchasing a home is a common barrier for potential homeowners. The Smart Start Program is available to participants in the HMFA’s Home Buyer Program who are purchasing homes in Smart Growth areas. The program helps these families by offering a second mortgage for down payment and/or closing costs in an amount up to 4 percent of the first mortgage.
To determine if an address is located within an Urban Target Area or Smart Growth area, people can visit the Site Evaluator at http://www.state.nj.us/dca/hmfa/consu/buyers/smart/ on the HMFA website and follow the instructions for how to find census information.
Since its inception in 1983, the HMFA has provided low-cost homeownership financing to approximately 97,000 New Jersey families and aims to continue to offer the best possible mortgage products to consumers purchasing a home. HMFA offers a variety of mortgage loan products. Rates are subject to change. Prospective borrowers should contact their local lenders for more details. A list of participating HMFA lenders is available on the Agency’s Web site at http://www.state.nj.us/dca/hmfa/consu/buyers/lender_list.pdf.