Eave’s “Just the Facts” series makes a comeback as a monthly feature summarizing the major economic news over the last month that affected interest rates alongside our projections for the future. We’re calling this feature the Monthly Mortgage Rate Roundup.
Mortgage interest rates have held relatively steady over the summer. The past three weeks have brought increases, and we expect to see these increases continue to climb into 2019.
Over the past four weeks, there were mixed signals across several sectors of the economy, which caused the market to pause. This pause was taken across an array of economic sectors, including the mortgage industry. The dust has settled, and the data that’s been released over the past few weeks now points to continued robust economic growth. In fact, some believe it points to an economic boom more robust than initially expected. Eave matched the markets in our rate structures. We held them steady (at 4.50% for the 30 yr fixed rate mortgage) for several weeks, before bumping them up marginally over the past 3 weeks. As of October, 4th, 2018, we’re at 4.625% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
Mortgage interest rates are based on the Federal Funds Rate, which is set by the Federal Open Market Committee. This is a group of economists who look at historical data to form an opinion about the future. They use their predictions to determine whether to increase, decrease, or hold rates steady. Most of the time, their predictions are fairly accurate. But because the past is what informs a future prediction, it’s not an exact science.
The uniform trend the Committee saw when they looked back over the past four weeks was steady and consistent growth. It’s not exactly what they expected to see. They thought growth would slow, but it continued at a steady pace. This plot twist points to an economy that’s actually stronger than initially thought. We know this because robust economies show consistent steady growth, which is exactly what we’re seeing now. Moreover, there are no current trigger points that have historically led to an economic slow down.
What does it all mean? It means that Federal rate hikes are likely to continue throughout Q4-2018 and even into early 2019. And because mortgage interest rates are driven by the Federal Interest Rate, we are likely to see those increase as well. In fact, we expect to see rates climb north of 5.0% for 30-year fixed mortgages in early 2019.
What this Means For You
It’s a great time to buy a house! With interest rates projected to rise, those looking to buy would be smart to catch the current lower rates while they can. What’s more, according to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s latest report, housing market conditions are strong for those who are ready to upgrade. Essentially, the luxury home market is a buyer’s market, and the starter home market is a seller’s market. So, if you upgrade soon, you could potentially save thousands of dollars. Even better? Market data routinely shows that October is a great month to buy a home. According to RealtyTrac’s analysis of 15 years of home sales, October buyers pay 2.6 percent below market value for their homes.
At Eave, we look closely at several economic data sets daily. Of course, we’re tuned in to the Federal Open Market Committee. But we look at other data points too. One thing we’re always tracking is growth or decline in the housing sector. This includes how many new homes are being built, and how many existing homes are selling. We also look at general factors driving economic growth, like the behavior of individual consumers, industries and production, and small businesses, amongst others. Over time, it becomes easier for us to analyze patterns and trends that influence the economy. Looking at the data we have now, we expect that growth will remain at a steady pace and as a result, federal rates and mortgage rates will climb.
You can check out Eave’s real-time rates here. We think you’ll find that they speak for themselves.