5 Reasons Rising Interest Rates Won’t Wreck the Housing Market

Interest rates have been trending higher since the fall of 2017, and I fully expect they will continue in that direction – albeit relatively slowly – as we move through the balance of the year and into 2019. So what does this mean for the US housing market?

It might come as a surprise to learn that I really don’t think rising interest rates will have a major impact on the housing market. Here is my reasoning:

1. First Time Home Buyers 

As interest rates rise, I expect more buyers to get off the fence and into the market; specifically, first time buyers who, according to Freddie Mac, made up nearly half of new mortgages in the first quarter of this year. First-time buyers are critical to the overall health of the housing market because of the subsequent chain reaction of sales that result so this is actually a positive outcome of rising rates.

2. Easing Credit Standards

Rising interest rates may actually push some lenders to modestly ease credit standards. I know this statement will cause some people to think that easing credit will immediately send us back to the days of sub-prime lending and housing bubbles, but I don’t see this happening. Even a very modest easing of credit will allow for more than one million new home buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

3. Low Unemployment 

We stand today in a country with very low unemployment (currently 4.0% and likely to get close to 3.5% by year’s end). Low unemployment rates encourage employers to raise wages to keep existing talent, as well as to recruit new talent. Wage growth can, to a degree, offset increasing interest rates because, as wages rise, buyers can afford higher mortgage payments.

4. Supply

There is a clear relationship between housing supply, home prices, and interest rates. We’re already seeing a shift in inventory levels with more homes coming on the market, and I fully expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. This increase in supply is, in part, a result of homeowners looking to cash in on their home’s appreciation before interest rates rise too far. This, on its own, will help ease the growth of home prices and offset rising interest rates. Furthermore, if we start to see more new construction activity at the lower end of the market, this too will help.

National versus Local

Up until this point, I’ve looked at how rising interest rates might impact the housing market on a national level, but as we all know, real estate is local, and different markets react to shifts in different ways. For example, rising interest rates will be felt more in expensive housing markets, such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Orange County, but I expect to see less impact in areas like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Detroit, where buyers spend a lower percentage of their incomes on housing. The exception to this would be if interest rates continue to rise for a prolonged period; in that case, we might see demand start to taper off, especially in the less expensive housing markets where buyers are more price sensitive.

For more than seven years, home buyers and real estate professionals alike have grown very accustomed to historically low interest rates. We always knew the time would come when they would begin to rise again, but that doesn’t mean the outlook for housing is doom and gloom. On the contrary, I believe rising interest rates will help bring us closer to a more balanced real estate market, something that is sorely needed in many markets across the country.

Posted on September 21, 2018 at 7:26 am
Fort Collins | Category: Economy | Tagged , , , ,

The Cost of Waiting

It’s true, certain parts of our market are cooling off. We are seeing fewer multiple offers, fewer bidding wars, and fewer inspection concessions.
However, homes that are priced right and in great condition are selling, and in many cases, selling quickly.

As buyers feel the market cool a bit, it may cause them to want to wait. They sometimes feel like it’s a better choice to ‘wait and see what happens.’

The reality is, there is a real cost to waiting given two specific facts.

1. Interest rates will continue to rise
2. Prices will continue to rise

Interest rates are a little more than 0.5% higher than a year ago and experts predict them to be another 0.5% higher by this time next year.

Prices have been appreciating at roughly 10% per year for the last four years. Based on the numbers, we see that appreciation could be 5% per year for the next two years.

So, let’s look at a house priced at $450,000 today. If prices go up “only” 5% for the next 12 months, that home will cost $22,500 more in a year.

And, if rates go up another half percent, the monthly payment will be $206 higher. That’s an 11% increase!

In an environment of rising prices and rising rates, there is a real cost to “wait and see.”

Posted on September 7, 2018 at 9:31 am
Fort Collins | Category: Fun Facts, Market News, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

How Will the Real Estate Market Respond to Rising Interest Rates?

Let Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner walk you through what to expect from the real estate market amidst rising interest rates.​

Posted on August 1, 2018 at 8:00 am
Fort Collins | Category: Economy | Tagged , ,

Rate Recap

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25% this week. It was their 3rd rate increase this year.

This has us thinking about mortgage rates.

Today, 30-year mortgage rates are 3.93%.

Let’s put this in context with a little history lesson. Mortgage rates were…

  • 3.90% 6 months ago
  • 4.13% 1 year ago
  • 3.54% 18 months ago
  • 3.32% 5 years ago
  • 5.96% 10 years ago
  • 7.15% 20 years ago

So where are rates headed? Given that the Federal Reserve is expected to raise their rate three to four more times in 2018, we expect mortgage rates to be higher one year from today.

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts rates to be 4.8% in the 4th quarter of next year. Freddie Mac’s prediction is 4.4%. If these predictions are true, that would mean mortgage rates would be back to where there were 6 to 7 years ago.

Posted on December 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm
Fort Collins | Category: Economics 101, Mortgage | Tagged , , , , ,

Memory Lane

Today we will take a fun trip down memory lane.

Did you know that it was the fall of 1981 when mortgage interest rates hit their all time peak? Yes, it was this time 36 years ago when 30-year mortgage rates hit 18.39%.

1980's Roller DiscoYikes!

It’s important to note that in those days, not many home buyers were opting for a 30-fixed loan because rates were so high. There were a lot of people looking at adjustable rate products as a way to reduce the monthly payment.

Just for fun, let’s look at what a monthly payment would look like if those same rates from 1981 existed today.

If rates were 18.39% today, a $350,000 home with a 20% down payment would have a monthly principal and interest payment of…

$4,309! Yikes!

Thank goodness rates aren’t that high today. They are actually about 15% lower!

Today’s 30-year rate sits at 3.83% (which by the way is roughly half of the long term average).

A monthly principal and interest payment on a $350,000 home with 20% down is…

$1,309. Three thousand dollars lower than it would be using 1981 ‘s rates.

For a detailed look at what’s happening across Colorado, request our quarterly market report called “The Gardner Report“, written by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner.

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 4:31 pm
Fort Collins | Category: Economy | Tagged , , , , ,

Interest Rates Rise… So What?

The Federal Reserve raised their benchmark interest rate 0.25% this week.

So what does this mean for real estate?

Some perspective is in order…

First, mortgage rates are not directly tied to the Fed Funds rate. They are, however, closely tied to the 10-year Treasury.

While the Fed was raising their rates this week, mortgage rates actually dipped lower (although slightly).

Mortgage rates today on a 30-year loan are essentially 4.25%.

The long term average for mortage rates, going all the way back to 1970 is 7.5%

For every 1% rise in rates, there is a corresponding 10% impact to the monthly payment.

Mortgage rates have increased about 0.75% since the election.

Most economists expect rates to increase another 0.5% by year-end.

Click HERE to read a great article that goes a little more into depth about what this means for homeowners.

We are watching mortgage rates closely and will continue to keep our customers updated as to where the experts think they are heading. Contact us directly if you have any questions. (970) 460-3033.

Posted on March 17, 2017 at 8:50 am
Fort Collins | Category: Fun Facts | Tagged , , , ,

Prices Continue to Pop in 2017

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Prices Continue to Pop in 2017

Real Estate Prices in Larimer and Weld Counties Are Up Double-Digits

 Fort Collins, Colo. (Feb. 15, 2017) – Continuing a trend that started four years ago, average residential real estate prices in January 2017 increased by double-digits compared to one year ago.  Larimer County’s prices are 10.5% higher than last January and Weld County’s are up even more at 12.8%.

The average price of a property in Larimer County so far this year is $378,253 and in Weld County it is $310,948.  Both Counties have seen their residential average prices go up by almost $100,000 in just three years.

“For three years now we have had the perfect storm to cause prices to increase at a rate that is double the long-term average.  Northern Colorado is in the top-10 nationally for fastest growing communities, we have an incredibly healthy economy with high employment, interest rates that are roughly half of the long term average, and very few homes to pick from,” said Eric Thompson president of Windermere Real Estate in Colorado.

“The inventory of listings is especially low in the lower price points.  For example, if someone wanted to buy a single-family home in Fort Collins under $300,000 they would have five listings to choose from today.  Greeley has 33 homes at that price point,” Thompson said.  “These dynamics create a unique opportunity for move up buyers to capture the appreciation in their home and leverage the low interest rates to buy the home of their dreams.”

Even though the number of homes available for sale across Larimer and Weld Counties may be down, Windermere Real Estate in Northern Colorado saw their January closed transactions increased 48% compared to last year.  Their new written contracts are up even more at 110% compared to 2016.

About Windermere Colorado:

Since its inception in 1972, Windermere Real Estate has grown to be a network of 300 offices with more than 7,000 agents by focusing on three basic principles: hire the best people, give them the best tools and create thriving communities. Windermere’s growth has allowed them to expand into the Colorado market led by Eric Thompson, President of Windermere Colorado. For more information, visit www.windermerecolorado.com.

 About Windermere Real Estate

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Mexico. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation, which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 28 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Posted on February 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm
Fort Collins | Category: Press Release | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Limited Choices

Pretend that customer walks into our office and tells us they are looking for a single family home in Fort Collins. We would tell them that there are 314 to choose from. But if they told us their price range is up to $300,000, their choices would be limited to just 10 homes.

Single family homes priced under $300,000 only represent 3.18% of the total inventory in Fort Collins. This is a big reason why buyers are opening up their search to communities that surround Fort Collins.

Here’s a snapshot of the major Northern Colorado markets:

  • Loveland: 176 Homes For Sale/15 Priced Under $300,000
  • Windsor: 151 Homes For Sale/6 Priced Under $300,000
  • Greeley: 98 Homes For Sale/33 Priced Under $300,000
  • Fort Collins: 314 Homes For Sale/10 Priced Under $300,000

What’s important to know is today’s market dynamics create an ideal scenario for the move up buyer to use the equity in their home, leverage the low interest rates, and buy the home of their dreams.

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 8:31 am
Fort Collins | Category: Blog, Fun Facts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Crystal Ball

Last week Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner joined us for our annual Market Forecast events in Colorado. We were pleased to host over 500 customers at two events in Denver and Fort Collins.

Here are some of the big takeaways that we shared:

  • Interest rates will increase to 4.6% by the end of the year
  • First-time buyers are back and will make up 47% of all buyers in 2017
  • Inventory will remain at record lows and will continue to drive up prices
  • Appreciation is expected to be between 9% and 7% across our Front Range markets
  • Home builders will get creative in order to hit lower price points – we will see more “tiny homes” and more homes without basements

Click HERE to see Matthew Gardner’s infographic on the 2017 Forecast.

Posted on January 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Fort Collins | Category: Blog, Economy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How Interest Rates Impact Your Buying Power

Know your risk. How will your buying power be impacted with increased interest rates?

Check out this infographic for an understanding of how much interest rates affect how much home you can afford.

20161216-Cost-of-Interest-STM-1024x791

 

Source: www.simplifyingthemarket.com Read the full article here: http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2016/12/16/the-impact-your-interest-rate-has-on-your-buying-power-infographic/?a=79696-9675764dc3b9cb63398c8d3c043b0717 

 

 

Posted on December 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm
Fort Collins | Category: Blog, Colorado Real Estate, Fun Facts, Mortgage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,