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The headlines agree mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.
A recent article on the Economists’ Outlook blog by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides insight into one major factor in the decline in interest rates, the crude oil price.
“As of January 5, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20/gallon, the lowest since gas prices peaked to about $ 4/gallon in May 2011.”
You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially less expensive in recent months. A welcome change from the close to $5 a gallon that many Americans were paying this time last year. The average US household is projected to save around $550 in 2015.
So what does that have to do with Interest Rates?
NAR explains the correlation like this:
“Lower oil prices mean lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates.”
Based on Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey as of January 22, 2015, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63% and the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.
“The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments. That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”
How long will rates stay low?
No one really knows how long oil prices will continue to support low mortgage rates. In a New York Times article, the author points to the fact that “adding hundreds of billions of dollars to consumer spending” could start to have a “counter effect” on rates as the economy continues to strengthen.
“If firms start hiring again, and wages increase — that’s when the level of all interest rates in the U.S. would increase.”
Don’t wait too long
The low interest rates we are currently experiencing are not going to stay around forever. The current projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association all agree that interest rates will increase to between 4.3-5.4% by the end of 2015.
NAR reports: “At the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates will yield savings of about $1,000 annually.”
If you are in a position to buy a home I would love to meet with you and discuss what’s going on in the market. Don’t let a delay in purchasing impact your family’s financial future.
Kill HOME SALES?
The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are each projecting mortgage interest rates to increase substantially over the next twelve months. What will that mean to the housing market in 2015?
Last week, we posted a graph showing that home prices appreciated each of the last four times mortgage interest rates dramatically increased. Today, we want to talk about the impact higher rates might have on the number of home sales.
The reason many experts are calling for a rise in rates is because they see a stabilizing economy. With the economy beginning to improve, they expect the employment situation to regain some ground lost during the recession, incomes to grow and for consumer confidence to improve.
What will that mean to home sales next year?
In its November 2014 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, Freddie Mac explains:
“While higher interest rates generally detract from housing activity, when they occur with strong job and income growth the net result can be increases in household formations, construction, and home sales. Our view for 2015 is exactly that, namely, income and job growth offset the negative effect of higher interest rates and translate into gains for the nation’s housing market.”
Even with mortgage rates increasing, home sales and home appreciation should be just fine in 2015.
SEE Triple Crown Realty for more info:
After it was announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would again make available mortgage loans requiring as little as a 3% down payment, many people showed concern. Were we going back to the lower qualifying standards of a decade ago that caused the housing market crash? Won’t lower down payments dramatically increase the default rates? Will we again be faced with an avalanche of short sales and foreclosures? more…..