March 22, 2017 | Mac Rogers
What Are the Experts Saying about Mortgage Rates? | Simplifying The Market

Since 2012, the rallying cry for the real estate and mortgage industry was that rates are going up. This went on for several years. Rates never went up following those years. As a matter of fact there were instances were the rates actually went down.

Last year & this year is a whole different ballgame. Not only did the rates go up last year but they are continuing to go up this year. The projection is it will continue to climb the rest of the year as well.

Why should buyers and sellers worry about this? Well obviously with higher interest rates, mortgages will be a little bit more expensive. Add to that our ever continuing to increase home prices and you have a double whammy! People are waiting for this market to normalize. When it does, it won't be because of supply and demand equilibrium. It will be because affordability has taken a hit and only a number of people can afford to buy a home.

Mortgage interest rates have risen over the last few months and projections are that they will continue their upswing throughout 2017. What impact will this have on the housing market? Here is what the experts are saying:
Laurie Goodman, Co-director of the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center:
“In 1984, 1994, 2000, and 2013, every time we have rate increases, we have increases in nominal home prices. We expect this to be more pronounced, as there is a big demand-and-supply gap at the present time.”
Scott Anderson, Chief Economist for Bank of the West:
“The tightening labor market, rising wage growth, high levels of consumer confidence and a millennial generation with a pent-up demand for housing should allow the housing market to weather the storm of gradually rising interest rates.”
Ivy Zelman in her latest “Z” Report:
“Although we strongly believe that the housing supply-demand imbalance for single-family homes will continue to drive above-average home price appreciation, just as falling mortgage rates aided pricing power on the margin in recent months, we expect the opposite effect to become evident in the coming months. As such, we project year-end home price inflation of 4.8% for 2017 and 4.1% for 2018.”
Bob Walters, President & COO of retail mortgage lender Quicken Loans:
“A modest increase in mortgage rates won’t have much of an effect on home purchases. A buyer may need to slightly re-evaluate which homes they can afford, but it’s not likely to make an impact on qualifying, in most cases.”
First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming:
"Our survey data shows that mortgage rates would have to be significantly higher to have any meaningful impact. The house buying power that borrowers have, even with rates below five percent, still remains historically strong."


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