Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fed Chair Takes Advantage of Low Rates Too

Fed Chair Ben Bernanke knows a good interest rate when he sees it. The Fed chair has refinanced the mortgage on his three-bedroom, attached town home in Washington, D.C. twice since 2009.

Most recently Bernanke refinanced on his home in September shortly after the Fed announced “Operation Twist,” which was a rare move by the Fed to publicly vow to keep long-term interest rates low for the next two years.

Bernanke lives in a town house near the Capitol in Washington, D.C., which he paid $839,000 for it in 2004, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. The home’s appraised value is about $850,000. Bernanke owes $672,000 on his 30-year mortgage, according to the article.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates continue to hover around record lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell under 4 percent once again this past week--30-year rates below 4 percent were unheard of until this year. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99 percent for the week ending Dec. 8, according to Freddie Mac’s national mortgage market survey. Low rates, mixed with low home prices, are pushing housing affordability to record highs this year, Freddie Mac reports.

Source: “Bernanke Joins Bargain Hunters Who Refinance,” The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 12, 2011)

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