In 1984, interest rates were 14%, and the market was much different than it is today. I've attached a chart ( courtesy of Mortgage X.com) that displays rates over the past 37 years, because it really helps to put our current market into perspective. I'd also like to share some insights that were posted on a mortgage banking blog that I follow, which I found very interesting!
Out of the past 442 months, which dates back to the beginning of 1971 or almost 37 years, there have only been 69 months where the average 30 Year Fixed Mortgage has been offered at less than 7.000% with zero points. That is less than 16% of the time!
In the past 10 years, monthly averages for Fixed Rate Loans have been above 7.000% with zero points 42.5% of the time or below only 57.5% of the time.
67 of the 69 months of lower than 7.000% average rates have been since the stock market collapse in 2000 and have corresponded with the run up in real estate values across the country. As property values decline and stock prices increase where will mortgage rates go? We certainly don't know for sure, but rates above 7.000% don't look to be out of the question. Remember, increases in rates lower purchasing power. That affects both buyers and sellers negatively. As a purchaser waiting for home prices to fall further may make sense on one hand, but it ignores the impact of potentially higher rates on the other. As a seller, you may desire to hold out for last year's value, but do you want to risk losing the buyer who won't qualify at a higher interest rate.
I definitely agree that it's difficult to predict interest rate fluctuations right now, but regardless of whether or not you are bullish on the market, this provides some interesting context for clients making "wait and see" decisions right now.
For additional Info contact John Womeldorf/ Liz Moore & Associates 757 254 8136
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