Real Estate Insider Blog

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20
Dec
2017

How does the recent interest rate hike affect real estate?

 

Under a federal funds rate increase of 1.25 - 1.50 points, mortgage rates are expected to increase. Hovering around 4%, mortgage rates are projected to inch up slightly, towards 5%, under the new federal interest rates. Rising mortgage rates impact every aspect of buying and selling a home and should be closely monitored by all housing market participants.

Buyers

Generally indicating a stronger economy, a federal interest rate hike suggests confidence in the economy and a need for higher rates to maintain market competitively. From a home buyer's perspective, as interest rates rise, affordability decreases. For example, a buyer who qualifies for a $400,000 mortgage at 4% interest will only qualify for a $355,000 loan at 5% interest. An increase in mortgage interest lowers purchasing power.

Buying a home under the current mortgage interest rates is the best way to maximize purchasing power and lock in lower monthly payments (assuming a fixed-rate mortgage). When the economy is expected to grow and is indicated to be in good health via a federal interest rate hike, the best time to participate in the housing market as a buyer is now. Benefit from the historically low mortgage interest rates and lock in a rate under 5% now.
 

Sellers

Impacting sellers in a slightly different way, rising interest rates drive down housing prices and lower property values. For example, a seller can choose to list a house at $400,000, but rising rates may...

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