If you’re hoping to buy a home this year, you’re probably paying close attention to mortgage rates. Since mortgage rates impact what you can afford when you take out a home loan – and affordability is a challenge today – it’s a good time to look at the big picture of where mortgage rates have been historically compared to where they are now. Beyond that, it’s important to understand their relationship with inflation for insights into where mortgage rates might go in the near future.

Giving Context to the Sticker Shock

Freddie Mac has been tracking the 30-year fixed mortgage rate since April of 1971. Every week, they release the results of their Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which averages mortgage application data from lenders across the…

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Some Highlights

  • Last year, some housing experts projected a decline in home prices by the end of 2023. But that didn’t happen – inventory was just too low.
  • While it’s normal for experts to re-forecast throughout the year, the good news for 2023 is that prices are no longer projected to decrease.
  • Let’s connect so you know what’s happening with home values in our local area.

Sources

 

  • https://www.mba.org/docs/default-source/research-and-forecasts/forecasts/mortgage-finance-forecast-dec-2022.pdf
  • https://www.mba.org/docs/default-source/research-and-forecasts/forecasts/2023/mortgage-finance-forecast-aug-2023.pdf
  • https://www.fanniemae.com/media/45801/display
  • https://www.fanniemae.com/media/48726/display

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One of the biggest factors in buying a home is the interest rate. We hear about it a lot when people are debating a purchase today or waiting for the rates to come down. A better question would be to ask if you like the house. If you really want it, you can buy today and refinance later when the rates get lower.  Who cares what the interest rates were like in the 80's?

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Have you been trying to buy a home, but higher mortgage rates and home prices are limiting your options? If so, here’s some good news – based on what Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, has to say – smaller, more affordable homes are on the way:

“Buyers should expect that over the next 12 to 24 months there will be a notable increase in the number of entry-level homes available.”

In some ways, smaller homes are already here. When the pandemic hit, the meaning of home changed. People needed the space their home provided not only as a place to live, but as a place to work, go to school, exercise, and more. Those who had that space were more likely to keep it. And those that didn’t were in a position where they were trying to sell their…

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Toward the end of last year, there were a number of headlines saying home prices were going to fall substantially in 2023. That led to a lot of fear and questions about whether there was going to be a repeat of the housing crash that happened back in 2008. But the headlines got it wrong.

While there was a slight home price correction after the sky-high price appreciation during the ‘unicorn’ years, nationally, home prices didn’t come crashing down. If anything, prices were a lot more resilient than many people expected.

Let's take a look at some of the expert forecasts from late last year stacked against their most recent forecasts to show that even the experts recognize they were overly pessimistic.

Expert Home Price Forecasts: Then and…

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Some Highlights

  • Your equity grows as you pay down your home loan and as home prices increase. With home prices rising again, your equity is getting an extra boost.
  • Almost half of homeowners are equity rich because they have at least 50% equity in their homes. If you’ve been in your home for a while, you might have gained a considerable amount of equity, too.
  • Want to find out how much equity you have? Connect with a trusted real estate agent for a Professional Equity Assessment Report (PEAR).

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When you read about the housing market in the news, you might see something about a recent decision made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But how does this decision affect you and your plans to buy a home? Here's what you need to know.

The Fed is trying hard to reduce inflation. And even though there’s been 12 straight months where inflation has cooled (see graph below), the most recent data shows it’s still higher than the Fed’s target of 2%: 

While you may have been hoping the Fed would stop their hikes since they’re making progress on their goal of bringing down inflation, they don’t want to stop too soon, and risk inflation climbing back up as a result. Because of this, the Fed decided to increase the Federal Funds Rate again last…

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Would you rather pay tens of thousands of dollars over asking price to win a “bidding war” for a home with a lower interest rate or would you rather pay just a few thousand over asking at a slightly higher interest rate? The answer is … So, if you find a home you like today, make a solid offer and refinance when you can. Because you could be waiting a long time for it to be the right time to buy a home!

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If you’re trying to decide if you’re ready to buy a home, there’s probably a lot on your mind. You’re thinking about your finances, today’s mortgage rates and home prices, the limited supply of homes for sale, and more. And, you’re juggling how all of those things will impact the choice you’ll make.

While housing market conditions are definitely a factor in your decision, your own life and your finances may be even more important. As an article from NerdWallet says:

“Housing market trends give important context. But whether this is a good time to buy a house also depends on your financial situation, life goals and readiness to become a homeowner.”

Instead of trying to time the market, it may help to focus on what you can control. Here…

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Many homeowners thinking about selling have two key things holding them back. That’s feeling locked in by today’s higher mortgage rates and worrying they won’t be able to find something to buy while supply is so low. Let’s dive into each challenge and give you some helpful advice on how to overcome these obstacles.

Challenge #1: The Reluctance to Take on a Higher Mortgage Rate

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the average interest rate for current homeowners with mortgages is less than 4% (see graph below):

But today, the typical 30-year fixed mortgage rate offered to buyers is closer to 7%. As a result, many homeowners are opting to stay put instead of moving to another home with a higher borrowing cost. This is a…

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