It’s been all over the news now for the entire year – endless speculation about what the Fed will do with interest rates and how that will affect mortgages. This has many potential homebuyers wondering what they should do as they search for a home.
Well as we all know the Fed has yet to take any action, most recently because of the financial turmoil caused by volatility in foreign markets. But the bigger point is, when it comes to buying a home in today’s market, it doesn’t really matter what the Fed does, at least in the near term.
Mortgage rates remain at historical lows, which means buying a home is as affordable as it’s ever been, at least when it comes to financing. As the chief economist of Freddie Mac points out in this recent Washington Post article, even if the Fed does make a move in the coming weeks or months, the effect on fixed mortgage rates is likely to be moderate over the next year and a half. That’s partially due to the fact that long term lending rates like a 30-year fixed mortgage already have at least some anticipation of rate increases built in. Just to illustrate: in February the average 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.76% and despite nearly a year’s worth of anxiety over the potential for rate hikes, the average 30-year fixed rate today is 3.86%.
So your decision to buy a home should not driven by where you think rates are going week-to-week, month-to-month or even year-to-year. It’s a multifaceted decision regarding current circumstances, finances, lifestyle, location and plans for the future. And if buying a home now is right for you, come in and see us. We’ll help you find a home at a great price that’s a perfect fit.
(There is a trend that could have an impact on your search for a home now. According to the New York Times, the number of available homes has fallen to 5.2 months of supply, below the six months that’s typical in a normal market, so if you’re ready to buy you may want to zero-in on homes in your location of choice. Click here to view our latest listings.)