This week Freddie Mac reported 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates averaged 4.54 percent for the United States as a whole and the North Central Region (which includes Illinois). That’s another record low.

According to Freddie Mac’s historical data, rates have dipped below 5 percent on occasion since 2009, but this level otherwise is unseen since it began tracking the data in 1971. Notably, 30-year rates hit an annual average high of 16.63 percent in 1981.

Now that the tax credit has passed, Illinois REALTORS® are reporting less buyer flurry which in part is seasonal given the typical summer lull for vacations and back-to-school. However, a major factor at play is the overhanging sense of uncertainty in America about jobs and the economy.

Still, if you are a recent trade-up buyer who sold during the tax credit period or a fence-sitter waiting for the right opportunity, this is it. Today’s combination of low rates and lower home prices has greatly increased homebuyer affordability.

Although a buyer might be waiting for an even lower price on a home, in my recent interview with IAR Convention speaker and Inman News columnist Bernice Ross, she explained how this thinking just doesn’t make financial sense. “Assume you have a 5 percent interest rate on a $200,000 house. If the price of the home would lower by $10,000 that doesn’t compare with how much interest that buyer would have to pay over the life of the loan if the interest rate goes up just one percentage point.”

Plus in many markets in Illinois home prices are gaining traction. Statewide the median price was up in June for the fourth month this year.