SONYMA Mortgage Rates Reduced to Lowest Level in 40 Years

New York, NY – September 7, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) is now providing the lowest interest rates ever offered for its two primary programs in the agency’s 40-year history. SONYMA’s core program, the Low Interest Rate Program is now being offered at a rate of 4 percent and it’s Achieving the Dream Program, for low-income first-time homebuyers, is being offered at 3.5 percent.

Governor David A. Paterson said, “Energizing New York’s housing market is critical to revitalizing the State’s economy. The historically low interest rates SONYMA is now offering will encourage responsible homeownership and help promote the economic recovery. Encouraging SONYMA’s strong homeownership program is part our efforts to integrate the State’s major housing agencies and create more efficiencies in the state’s housing programs.”

SONYMA is able to offer these historic low rates because of its participation in the New Issue Bond Purchase (NIBP) Program, a program initiated by the Obama administration to encourage sustainable homeownership and stimulate the nation’s economy.

The U.S. Treasury announced last week that it would allow participating state housing finance agencies like SONYMA to sell its bonds to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at lower interest rates than under the prior pricing structure. This enabled SONYMA to lower the interest rates on the mortgages it offers to potential New York State homeowners.

Brian Lawlor, the State’s top housing official, who serves as President and CEO of “nyhomes” and Commissioner of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, said, “The actions of the Treasury Department last week in revising the Obama administration’s New Issue Bond Purchase Program were critical to our ability to offer these new very competitive rates. We want to thank Michael S. Barr, Assistant Treasury Secretary for Financial Institutions, for being responsive to the needs of state housing finance agencies across the country and in New York. Also, both the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies and the National Council of State Housing Agencies were instrumental in helping create the NIBP program and advocating for last week’s policy changes.”

Duncan R. MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer of New York State Association of REALTORS, said, “The actions taken by SONYMA are a strong second act to the now expired federal tax credit. The resulting new rate structure being offered by SONYMA, coupled with its favorable down payment requirements, is a strong incentive to enter the market for first-time and low/moderate income home buyers. REALTORS across the state report an ample inventory of homes for sale, and when combined with historic financing rates such as offered by SONYMA, makes this a perfect time to purchase.”

SONYMA offers several competitively priced mortgage products, designed primarily for first-time homebuyers, to enable low- and moderate-income New Yorkers to become homeowners. In addition to the low interest rates, SONYMA loans offer the following features:

* Down payment assistance of up to $10,000 is available;
* Availability of 40-year mortgages;
* Rate lock periods of 100 days (240 for new construction and rehabilitation properties);
* 97 percent financing for most property types and as little as a 1 percent borrower own funds towards the down payment;
* No upfront mortgage insurance premiums and no borrower-paid points;
* Does not charge higher interest rates or add-ons for: different property types; loan amounts over $417,000; properties located in declining markets; or borrowers with lower FICO scores;
* Flexible condominium and cooperative project requirements.

SONYMA encourages responsible and sustainable homeownership and is proud that its delinquency rate is about 2 percent, substantially lower than the national rate of 10.5 percent.

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SONYMA was created in 1970 with the mission of helping low- and moderate- income families become homeowners. It offers a variety of low down payment mortgages that provide below-market fixed interest rates, as well as closing cost assistance through a network of participating lenders across the state.

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Contact: Philip Lentz
Director of Communications
212-688-0679
plentz (at) nyhomes (dot) org

James Plastiras
Director of Communications
518-473-2526
JPlastiras (at) nysdhcr (dot) gov

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