As Wall Street stumbled last week and the bond market experienced a sell-off, clients may find that buying a home is a little more expensive.
As a result of this activity in the markets, mortgage rates, which loosely follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury, have been rising for the past few weeks, but are seeing their biggest move higher last week.
Agents and brokers are seeing clients facing rates at 4.5 percent on their lenders’ best-case-scenario 30-year fixed rates.
According to a CNBC report, that is the highest rate since 2014.
At the start of 2018, the average rate on the popular 30-year fixed rate was around 4 percent but then began to climb on positive news in the U.S. economy, solid company earnings reports and a shift in foreign central bank policies which appear to now be following the Federal Reserve’s tightening of monetary policy.
However, by the third week of January, rates had edged upward to about 4.28 percent.
As agents and brokers, we still are seeing mortgage rates that are historically low. They were even lower immediately after the financial crisis, which jump-started housing prices and has given clients a sense of normalcy. Chris Kopec, a mortgage loan consultant at Chicago-based Lakeside Bank, said this could hurt affordability this spring.
“Today is one more reason for REALTORS® and buyers to move up their spring schedule.”
These slight spikes in interest rates can have a severe impact on your clients. Even a quarter point difference in mortgage rates could price them out of the type of home they’re looking to buy.
According to Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer with Bleakley Advisory Group, economic confidence is driving spending even higher and savings even lower.
“With spending rising faster, what also drove spending was credit card debt as the US savings rate is down to just 2.4 percent in December from 2.5 percent in November and 3 percent in October. September 2005 was the last time it was this low. Lower taxes and higher wages couldn’t have come at a better time for the average consumer, but some of that will likely go towards paying down some of the accumulated debt.”
These trends are worth watching as you kick off your spring season.