Part II – Interest Rates Are Increasing
A big component in the cost of a home is the mortgage interest rate a purchaser pays. Understanding where rates are headed will help in making a decision whether to buy now or wait.
So, Where Are Rates Headed?
No one can know for sure. The Fed has been artificially holding rates down to stimulate the economy. However, as the economy improves, many experts expect rates to creep up. As an example, HSH Associates, the nation’s largest publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, recently explained:
“The stronger the economy becomes, the higher rates may grind; the Federal Reserve is keeping them low to goose the economy, but an economy responding to the Fed’s medicine will soon see less of a need for it in order to function. If not otherwise manipulated, higher rates are the natural result of a growing economy, as rising demand for available credit supply and concerns about inflation allow costs to rise.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) agrees. They were quoted in HousingWire late last year regarding their thoughts on where rates would be headed in 2013.
“After reaching record lows in 2012, mortgage rates are expected to creep up slowly in 2013, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted.”
In the MBA’s latest Mortgage Finance Forecast they forecast that the 30 year interest rate will be 4.3% by the end of the year. This represents an increase of almost a full percentage point from the 3.4% rate available at the end of 2012.
For example, we show the impact a one percent increase in rate will have on the monthly principal and interest payment on a $200,000 mortgage.
Freddie Mac’s Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey reveals that rates have increased by 2/10ths of a percentage point already this year.
As we mentioned, no one knows for sure where rates will be a year from now. But, many experts think they may be as much as a point higher. With rising residential real estate prices and the possibility of higher mortgage rates, waiting to buy a home makes no sense in our opinion.