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Evans Realty was established in 1985 and servicing the Treasure Valley for the past 39 years.
The Impact of Inflation on Mortgage Rates

The Impact of Inflation on Mortgage Rates


If you’re reading headlines about inflation or mortgage rates, you may see something about the recent decision from the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But what does it mean for you, the housing market, and your plans to buy a home? Here’s what you need to know.

Inflation and the Housing Market

While the Fed’s working hard to lower inflation, the latest data shows that, while the number has improved some, the inflation rate is still higher than the target (2%). That played a role in the Fed's decision to raise the Federal Funds Rate last week. As Bankrate explains:

 

Keeping its inflation-fighting streak alive, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the 10th time in 10 meetings . . . The hikes aimed to cool an economy that was on fire after rebounding from the coronavirus recession of 2020.” 

While the Fed’s actions don’t directly dictate what happens with mortgage rates, their decisions do have an impact and contributed to the intentional cooldown in the housing market last year. 

How This Impacts You 

During times of high inflation, your everyday expenses go up. That means you’ve likely felt the pinch at the gas pump and in the grocery store. By raising the Federal Funds Rate, the Fed is actively trying to lower inflation. If the Fed is successful, it could also ultimately lead to lower mortgage rates and better homebuying affordability for you. That’s because when inflation is high, mortgage rates tend to be high. But, as inflation cools, experts say mortgage rates will likely fall.

Where Experts Think Mortgage Rates and Inflation Will Go from Here

Moving forward, both inflation and mortgage rates will continue to impact the housing market. And as Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

 

Mortgage rates are likely to descend lower later in the year as the consumer price inflation calms down . . .” 

Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains

 

“We continue to expect that mortgage rates will drift down over the course of the year as the economy slows . . .”

While there’s no way to say with certainty where mortgage rates will go from here, the experts think mortgage rates will trend down this year if inflation comes down too. To stay informed on the latest insights, connect with a trusted real estate advisor. They keep their pulse on what’s happening today and help you understand what the experts are projecting and how it could impact your homeownership plans.

Bottom Line

Don’t let headlines about the latest decision from the Fed confuse you. Where mortgage rates go from here depends on what happens with inflation. If inflation cools, mortgage rates should tick down as a result. Let’s connect so you have expert insights on housing market changes and what they mean for you.

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Why Today’s Housing Market Is Not About To Crash

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Why Today’s Housing Market Is Not About To Crash

There’s been some concern lately that the housing market is headed for a crash. And given some of the affordability challenges in the housing market, along with a lot of recession talk in the media, it’s easy enough to understand why that worry has come up.

But the data clearly shows today’s market is very different than it was before the housing crash in 2008. Rest assured, this isn’t a repeat of what happened back then. Here’s why.

It’s Harder To Get a Loan Now

It was much easier to get a home loan during the lead-up to the 2008 housing crisis than it is today. Back then, banks had different lending standards, making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance an existing one. As a result, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices.

Things are different today as purchasers face increasingly higher standards from mortgage companies. The graph below uses data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to show this difference. The lower the number, the harder it is to get a mortgage. The higher the number, the easier it is.

Unemployment Recovered Faster This Time

While the pandemic caused unemployment to spike over the last couple of years, the jobless rate has already recovered back to pre-pandemic levels (see the blue line in the graph below). Things were different during the Great Recession as a large number of people stayed unemployed for a much longer period of time (see the red in the graph below):

Here’s how the quick job recovery this time helps the housing market. Because so many people are employed today, there’s less risk of homeowners facing hardship and defaulting on their loans. This helps put today’s housing market on stronger footing and reduces the risk of more foreclosures coming onto the market.

There Are Far Fewer Homes for Sale Today

There were also too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to fall dramatically. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory available overall, primarily due to years of underbuilding homes.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Federal Reserve to show how the months’ supply of homes available now compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just a 2.6-months’ supply. There just isn’t enough inventory on the market for home prices to come crashing down like they did in 2008.

Equity Levels Are Near Record Highs

That low inventory of homes for sale helped keep upward pressure on home prices over the course of the pandemic. As a result, homeowners today have near-record amounts of equity (see graph below):

And, that equity puts them in a much stronger position compared to the Great Recession. Molly Boesel, Principal Economist at CoreLogicexplains

Most homeowners are well positioned to weather a shallow recession. More than a decade of home price increases has given homeowners record amounts of equity, which protects them from foreclosure should they fall behind on their mortgage payments.”

Bottom Line

The graphs above should ease any fears you may have that today’s housing market is headed for a crash. The most current data clearly shows that today’s market is nothing like it was last time.

It May Be Time To Consider a Newly Built Home

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It May Be Time To Consider a Newly Built Home

If you’re looking to buy a house, you may find today’s limited supply of homes available for sale challenging. When housing inventory is as low as it is right now, it can feel like a bit of an uphill battle to find the perfect home for you because there just isn’t that much to choose from. If you need to open up your pool of options, it may be time to consider a newly built home.

 According to the latest data from the U.S. Census, there’s positive news when it comes to new home construction. When you look at the first three months of this year, you’ll find:

 

  • More new homes were completed and are ready to sell. This gives you more move-in-ready options for your search.
  • Builders broke ground and started construction on more single-family homes. This means there are more homes intended for one household in the beginning stages of construction, allowing you the opportunity to customize one to your liking.
  • The number of permits for building new single-family homes ticked up. This shows builders are ramping up to start on even more home construction soon. 

And, while this is all good news for broadening your options for your home search, there are other perks that come with considering a newly built home.

Customization 

When you buy a new home under construction, you can tailor it to your unique needs and taste. Bankrate?says

 

Building means customizing. . . . instead of wishing your home had a certain kind of flooring, a sunroom or some other special amenity, you’ll be able to tailor the property to your exact needs. 
Brand New Everything 

Another perk of a new home is that nothing in the house is used. It’s all brand new and uniquely yours from day one.

Minimal Repairs

And, because everything is new, you’ll likely find there are fewer maintenance and repair needs up front. As Realtor.com explains:  

“. . . if something does go wrong with your new home, not only are there likely some manufacturer warranties in place, but many builders also include additional home warranties . . .” 
Energy Efficiency 

Lastly, building a home gives you the opportunity to incorporate more energy-efficient options that can help lower your costs over time – which can feel especially important when inflation’s raising many of the costs around you.

Bottom Line

If you’re having trouble finding your dream home in today’s market, it may be time to consider newly built homes as an option. Let’s connect so you have an expert on your side to help you explore what’s available in our local area.

Reasons To Sell Your House Today [INFOGRAPHIC]

Reasons To Sell Your House Today [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights

  • Not sure if selling your house is the right move today? You should know there are a number of reasons it still makes sense to sell now.
  • Your house will stand out because inventory is low. That’s why the number of offers on recently sold homes is on the rise. And most homeowners have a lot of equity that can fuel a move.
  • If you’re thinking about selling your house, let’s connect to discuss if now may be the time to move.
How Homeowners Win When They Downsize

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How Homeowners Win When They Downsize

Downsizing has long been a popular option when homeowners reach retirement age. But there are plenty of other life changes that could make downsizing worthwhile. Homeowners who have experienced a change in their lives or no longer feel like their house fits their needs may benefit from downsizing too. U.S. News explains:

“Downsizing is somewhat common among older people and retirees who no longer have children living at home. But these days, younger people are also looking to downsize to save money on housing . . .”

And when inflation has made most things significantly more expensive, saving money where you can has a lot of appeal. So, if you’re thinking about ways to budget differently, it could be worthwhile to take your home into consideration.

When you think about cutting down on your spending, odds are you think of frequent purchases, like groceries and other goods. But when you downsize your house, you often end up downsizing the bills that come with it, like your mortgage payment, energy costs, and maintenance requirements. Realtor.com shares:

“A smaller home typically means lower bills and less upkeep. Then there’s the potential windfall that comes from selling your larger home and buying something smaller.”

That windfall is thanks to your home equity. If you’ve been in your house for a while, odds are you’ve developed a considerable amount of equity. Your home equity is an asset you can use to help you buy a home that better suits your needs today.

And when you’re ready to make a move, your team of real estate experts will be your guides through every step of the process. That includes setting the right price for your house when you sell, finding the best location and size for your next home, and understanding what you can afford at today’s mortgage rate.

What This Means for You

If you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do the original reasons I bought my current house still stand, or have my needs changed since then?
  • Do I really need and want the space I have right now, or could somewhere smaller be a better fit?
  • What are my housing expenses right now, and how much do I want to try to save by downsizing?

Once you know the answers to these questions, meet with a real estate advisor to get an answer to this one: What are my options in the market right now? A local housing market professional can walk you through how much equity you have in your house and how it positions you to win when you downsize.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to save money, downsizing your home could be a great help toward your goal. Let’s connect to talk about your goals in the housing market this year.

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