Alaskans Benefit From Low Mortgage Rates

Economists say Alaskans haven't felt much of the economic woes like the rest of the country, but are reaping all the benefits.

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by Megan Mazurek

ANCHORAGE - U.S. mortgage rates fall to a record low; numbers that haven't been seen in 60 years.

Economists say Alaskans haven't felt much of the economic woes like the rest of the country, but are reaping all the benefits.

"That's almost what I call free money," said Lisa Falon, Sr. Loan Originator at Home State Mortgage. "I can't imagine ever seeing interest rates this low again."

According to Freddie Mac, the rate on a 30 year loan dropped to 3.4 percent, and the rate for a 15 year fixed mortgage, popular for re-financing, fell to 2.73.

The drop in rates is an effort by the fed to help the housing recovery. "We are lucky we didn't feel the pain and now we're getting the benefit," said Neil Fried, state economist.

Fried says Alaska's market pretty much sailed through the recession largely untouched, except the real estate market. "I think part of it was lots of the news from the rest of the country people were absorbing that it also sort of those financial markets."

The rate can potentially give Alaskans looking to buy about 15 to 20 percent more buying power. "Everybody needs to be checking their mortgages, because with this low of rates they're not going to be here forever," Falon said.

The news is good for first-time home buyers or owners looking to re-adjust their rates which Fried says is not only good for the consumer's wallet, but the local economy as well. "Consumers can save money they can spend less on their housing and they can spend that money somewhere else."

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