Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

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.

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

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!

Investment Property Math: 30-yr vs. 15-yr Mortgage

Here are three things to consider when choosing between a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and a 15-year fixed rate mortgage on an investment property:

1 – Cash-Flow Considerations
A 30-year mortgage carries a lower monthly payment and therefore is more likely to result in positive monthly cash flow.  The less money you pay out each month, the more likely you are to achieve and maintain positive monthly cash flow. Positive cash-flow reduces your risk of default in case the tenant stops making their rent payments or in case the property goes vacant for a while.  For this reason, a 30-yr mortgage is generally less risky for investors vs. a 15-yr mortgage.

2 – Rate of Return Considerations
A 15-yr mortgage saves you money because you pay less interest over time.  However, is your goal to save money or make money?  If your goal is to make money and improve your rate of return on investment, a 30-yr mortgage may be a better option for you. Although you’d need to run the numbers in each case to determine which option would produce a higher rate of return, you’ll typically find in favor of a 30-yr mortgage.  That’s due to the impact of positive leverage on your investment returns.

3 – Investment Objectives
Investing in real estate is not always purely a numbers game.  For example, some investors would be happy earning less of an investment return, and experiencing less financial liquidity with a 15-yr mortgage because they value the tangible nature of owning real estate property free and clear. A 15-yr mortgage pays off in half the time, and it would result in higher cash flow and less cash-flow risk in the future when the loan is paid off (assuming you still own the property at that time).

As you can see, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” strategy when it comes to investing in real estate.  Contact me for more info or to explore your options!

The High Impact of Low Interest Rates on Your Purchasing Power

The High Impact of Low Interest Rates on Your Purchasing Power | MyKCM

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 3.96%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history!

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows what impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a home within the national median price range, and planned to keep your principal and interest payments between $1,850-$1,900 a month.

The High Impact of Low Interest Rates on Your Purchasing Power | MyKCM

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.

Home Mortgages: Rates Up, Requirements Easing

The media has extensively covered the rise in mortgage interest rates since last fall (from 3.42% last September to the current 4.1% according to Freddie Mac). However, a less covered aspect of the mortgage market is that requirements to get a mortgage have eased while rates have risen.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) quantifies the availability of mortgage credit each month with their Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to the MBA, the MCAI is:

“A summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”

The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage. Here is a chart showing the MCAI over the last several months as rates have increased.

Home Mortgages: Rates Up, Requirements Easing | MyKCM

Have requirements for attaining a mortgage actually eased?

Yes. Here are two examples:

  1. FICO® Score – the credit score which helps determine a buyer’s eligibility. The score required to attain a mortgage has been falling over the last five months:

Home Mortgages: Rates Up, Requirements Easing | MyKCM

  1. Down Payment Requirement – the percentage of the purchase price necessary to place as a down payment on a home. To make this point, let’s look at the percentage of first-time buyers who have put less than 5% down over the last several years as compared to the 1st quarter of 2017:

Home Mortgages: Rates Up, Requirements Easing | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Whether you are a current homeowner looking to move to a home that will better serve your family’s current needs, or a first-time buyer looking for a starter home, it is easier to get a mortgage today than it has been at any other time in the last ten years.  There are many low down payment options to take advantage of.

The Impact Your Interest Rate Has on Your Buying Power

The Impact Your Interest Rate Has on Your Buying Power [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Your monthly housing cost is directly tied to the price of the home you purchase and the interest rate you secure for your mortgage.
  • Over the last 30 years, interest rates have fluctuated greatly with rates in the double digits in the 1980s, all the way down to the near 4% we are experiencing now.
  • Your purchasing power is greatly impacted by the interest rate you secure. Act now before rates go up!