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Category: Interest Rates

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Your Home Equity Can Offset Affordability Challenges

Are you thinking about selling your house? If so, today’s mortgage rates may be making you wonder if that’s the right decision. Some homeowners are reluctant to sell and take on a higher mortgage rate on their next home. If you’re worried about this too, know that even though rates are high right now, so is home equity. Here’s what you need to know.Bankrate explains exactly what equity is and how it grows:“Home equity is the portion of your home that you’ve paid off and own outright. It’s the difference between what the home is worth and how much is still owed on your mortgage. As your home’s...

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Why Is Housing Inventory So Low?

One question that’s top of mind if you’re thinking about making a move today is: Why is it so hard to find a house to buy? And while it may be tempting to wait it out until you have more options, that’s probably not the best strategy. Here’s why.There aren’t enough homes available for sale, but that shortage isn’t just a today problem. It’s been a challenge for years. Let’s take a look at some of the long-term and short-term factors that have contributed to this limited supply.Underbuilding Is a Long-Standing ProblemOne of the big reasons inventory is low is because builders haven’t been building...

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Mortgage Rates: Past, Present, and Possible Future

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 ShockFreddie Mac has been tracking the 30-year fixed mortgage rate since April of...

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How Inflation Affects the Housing Market

Have you ever wondered how inflation impacts the housing market? Believe it or not, they’re connected. Whenever there are changes to one, both are affected. Here’s a high-level overview of the connection between the two.The Relationship Between Housing Inflation and Overall InflationShelter inflation is the measure of price growth specific to housing. It comes from a survey of renters and homeowners that’s done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The survey asks renters how much they’re paying in rent, and homeowners how much they’d rent their homes for, if they weren’t living in them.Much...

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Why You Don’t Need To Fear the Return of Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

If you remember the housing crash back in 2008, you may recall just how popular adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were back then. And after years of being virtually nonexistent, more people are once again using ARMs when buying a home. Let’s break down why that’s happening and why this isn’t cause for concern.Why ARMs Have Gained Popularity More RecentlyThis graph uses data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to show how the percentage of adjustable-rate mortgages has increased over the past few years:As the graph conveys, after hovering around 3% of all mortgages in 2021, many more homeowners...

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Don’t Expect a Wave of Foreclosures [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some HighlightsWith ongoing high inflation pushing up everyday costs, some people are worried that’ll create a flood of foreclosures. Here’s why that’s unlikely. Fewer people are seriously behind on mortgage payments right now. If foreclosures were going to rise a lot, more people would need to be late on their payments.Since most are paying on time, a wave isn’t coming. If you’re concerned about a flood of foreclosures, the data shows that’s not likely.

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People Want Less Expensive Homes – And Builders Are Responding

In today’s housing market, there are two main affordability challenges impacting buyers: mortgage rates that are higher than they’ve been the past couple of years, and rising home prices caused by low inventory. To overcome those challenges, many people are working with their agents to find less expensive homes. And with newly built homes making up a historically large percentage of the total available inventory today, that search often includes brand new homes.People Are Spending Less on Newly Built HomesThe graph below uses the latest information from the Census to show, in June, more of the...

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Housing Market Forecast for the Rest of 2023 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some HighlightsWant to know what experts say will happen in the rest of 2023? Home prices are already appreciating again in many areas. The average of the expert forecasts shows positive price growth.Where mortgage rates go for the rest of the year will depend on inflation. Based on historical trends, rates are likely to ease as inflation continues to cool.Even though low inventory continues to be a challenge, experts project 5 million homes will still sell this year. That pace should pick up if rates come down.

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How Inflation Affects Mortgage Rates

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...

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Explaining Today’s Mortgage Rates

If you’re following mortgage rates because you know they impact your borrowing costs, you may be wondering what the future holds for them. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer that question because mortgage rates are notoriously hard to forecast.  But, there’s one thing that’s historically a good indicator of what’ll happen with rates, and that’s the relationship between the 30-Year Mortgage Rate and the 10-Year Treasury Yield. Here’s a graph showing those two metrics since Freddie Mac started keeping mortgage rate records in 1972:As the graph shows, historically, the average spread...

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