What the New Federal Reserve Interest Rates Mean for the Housing Market

Last December, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. While the Fed’s actions impact short-term rates, if you are in the market for a home, you may be wondering about the impact on mortgage rates, inventory and affordability.

You may be surprised (and pleased) to learn that the answer is: not much. The impact on home prices is expected to be very minimal, and interest rates are still much lower than average rates in past decades — which could make 2016 a good year for buying. In fact, a nominal rate increase translates to a very manageable cost. For example, an increase of 25 basis points on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan of $250,000 raises the monthly mortgage payment by only $35.

For more information on what the higher Federal Reserve interest rates mean, this article provides further details.

It may sound counter-intuitive to you, but the rise in interest rates can be a good sign, as it’s often an indicator of an improving economy. Still, while you will continue to be driven by the usual reasons for buying a home — such as growing a family, proximity to work, needing to downsize if you are retiring and so on — you may opt for a less expensive home that fits more comfortably into your budget.

The bottom line to keep in mind is that, while interest rates are important to homebuyers, you also need to balance a potential mortgage payment with your overall financial situation. If you are ready to purchase, now may be the right time to buy due to low interest rates and relatively affordable homes.

Check out the full article for more information on down payment programs and other resources that can help your clients who are planning to purchase a home.

 

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Facing Foreclosure?

Scammers are targeting people having trouble paying their mortgages. Some claim to be able to “rescue” homeowners from foreclosures, while others promise to modify your loan – for a fee. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know how to avoid scams that could make your housing situation go from bad to worse.

Read more…