Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates came in at 3.82% last week!
This is great news for anyone who is planning on buying a home this Summer!
To put the low rates in perspective, the average for 2018 was 4.6%! The chart below shows the recent drop, and also shows where the experts at Freddie Mac believe rates will be by the end of 2019.
If you plan on buying a home this year, let’s get together to start your home search to ensure you can lock in these historically low rates today!
The US-China trade war has caused global interest rates to drop as investors divert capital away from the stock market and into the bond market. The 25% tariff recently placed on Chinese imports into the US means that these products could potentially cost 25% more than what they cost last year, driving up consumer prices on those goods and services. It remains to be seen whether companies will pass on the higher costs to their customers, or whether they’ll absorb the cost increases themselves. Either way, corporations are likely to earn less profit, which is the main reason why stock prices have tumbled recently.
In the meantime, bonds have benefited as investors have shifted their funds into the safety of the bond market to ride out the storm. This has caused interest rates on government bonds as well as mortgages to go down. In fact, mortgage rates are at their best levels of the year. But how long will this last?
Generally, tariffs and trade wars are bad for both stocks and bonds. That’s because tariffs carry with them the risk of higher inflation. Whenever there is inflation (higher prices), interest rates also go up. That’s because inflation erodes the purchasing power of the interest that’s being paid to the one lending the money. For example, if you pay 5% interest to a lender who lends you $100,000, that lender is earning $5,000 each year. But if that $5,000 has less purchasing power due to inflation, the lender may ask you to pay 6% instead.
That’s the long-term risk with tariffs and trade wars. Although interest rates are very low right now, market conditions could change at any time. If you’re thinking of buying a new house or refinancing your mortgage, you may want to get moving on it now, because the longer you wait, the bigger the risk you’re taking that interest rates could go higher. Do not wait!
Contact me for more info or evaluate your options!
This month, Arch Mortgage Insurance released their spring Housing and Mortgage Market Review. The report explained that an increase in mortgage rates and/or home prices would impact monthly payments this way:
A 5% increase in home prices increases payments by roughly 5%
A 1% rise in interest rates increases payments by roughly 13% or 14%
That begs the question…
What if both rates and prices increase as predicted?
The report revealed:
“If interest rates and home prices rise by year-end in the ballpark of what most analysts are forecasting, monthly mortgage payments on a new home purchase could increase another 10–15%. That would make 2018 one of the worst full-year deteriorations in affordability for the past 25 years.”
The percent increase in mortgage payments would negatively impact affordability. But, how would affordability then compare to historic norms?
Per the report:
“For the U.S. overall, even if affordability were to deteriorate as forecasted, affordability would still be reasonable by historic norms. That is because the percentage of pre-tax income needed to buy a typical home in 2019 would still be similar to the historical average during 1987–2004. Thus, nationally at least, even with higher rates and home prices, affordability will just revert to historical norms.”
What about home prices?
A decrease in affordability will cause some concern about home values. Won’t an increase in mortgage payments negatively impact the housing market? The report addressed this question:
“Even recent interest rate increases and higher taxes on some upper-income earners didn’t slow the market, as many had feared…Short of a war or stock market crash, housing markets could continue to surprise on the upside over the next few years.”
To this point, Arch Mortgage Insurance also revealed their Risk Index which estimates the probability of home prices being lower in two years. The index is based on factors such as regional unemployment rates, affordability, net migration, housing starts and the percentage of delinquent mortgages.
Below is a map depicting their projections (the darker the blue, the lower the probability of a price decrease):
If interest rates and prices continue to rise as projected, the monthly mortgage payment on a home purchased a year from now will be dramatically more expensive than it would be today.
According to the Freddie Mac weekly market survey, mortgage rates have increased by 0.5% in the past year (April 2017 – April 2018). This means your monthly payment today could be approx. $30/month higher than it was last year for every $100,000 you borrow. Here are two ways this could impact you:
1 – If You’re Thinking of Buying a Home It may be worthwhile for you to consider buying a home now instead of waiting. That’s because most economists anticipate that interest rates will continue to go up throughout this year due to:
Risk of higher inflation, which leads to higher interest rates
A greater supply of bonds due to growing budget deficits
Less demand for bonds due to the Fed winding down their bond-buying program
It may benefit you to lock in today’s rates instead of waiting for interest rates and monthly payments to move higher.
2 – If You’re Thinking of Making Home Improvements You may be able to fund your new project by using a “cash-out” mortgage refinance. That’s where you trade in your current home loan for a larger home loan, and use the “cash-out” for your new home improvement project. For the same reasons outlined above, it may be worthwhile for you to consider doing this now instead of waiting.
Contact me for more info or to explore your options!
PLEASE NOTE: This article is provided for illustrative purposes only. It is not an offer or commitment to lend you money, and it is not an advertisement for a specific mortgage or a specific interest rate. Payment examples don’t include property taxes and home insurance. Contact me to run the numbers for your situation.
Homeowners who itemize tax deductions can deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage balances used to buy, build or improve a qualified home. Here’s how to figure out the impact of that tax deduction: What’s your marginal income tax bracket? In our example, we’re going to use a tax bracket of 24%.
What’s your mortgage rate? In our example, we’re going to use a mortgage rate of 5%.
What’s your after-tax interest rate? Step 1: Express your tax bracket as a decimal: 24% = 0.24
Step 2: Subtract that number from the whole number one: 1 – 0.24 = 0.76
Step 3: Multiply that number by your interest rate: 5% x 0.76 = 3.8%
In this example, a 5% mortgage costs 3.8% after-taxfor someone in a 24% tax bracket.
Contact me for more info or to explore your options!
PLEASE NOTE: THIS ARTICLE AND OVERVIEW IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL, TAX, OR FINANCIAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED TAX ADVISOR FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE PERTAINING TO YOUR SITUATION. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF THESE ITEMS, PLEASE REFERENCE IRS PUBLICATION 936. Also, this article is not an offer or commitment to lend you money, and it is not an advertisement for a specific mortgage or a specific interest rate. Payment examples don’t include property taxes and home insurance.
Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors, is calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.
This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact that they may no longer be able to get a rate below 3.5%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.
Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades:
Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.