What Lower Mortgage Rates Say About the 2019 Housing Market

Housing Market Report: How Falling Mortgage Rates Will Affect the 2019 U.S. Housing Market

Mortgage rates have been going through a steady decline, with home buyers getting more and more opportunities at locking excellent rates. Homeowners are looking at opportunities for refinancing their mortgages – making it more affordable for their budget in the long run.

So, how does this affect the overall housing market? Will things be looking up, or is an inevitable downturn destined for our future? With the last recession behind us for several years now, it is understandable why some people are beginning to feel uneasy – but in reality, things may not be as bleak as they seem. Let’s take a look…

Hope for the 2019 U.S. Housing Market

This recent dip in mortgage rates is a result of the general downward trend that started late in 2018 – or at least that is what Freddie Mac brokers claim. (The agencies that buy and pool housing mortgages, which they later sell as a mortgage-backed security to any interested investor of the open market.)

Freddie Mac has a positive outlook on the current situation:

“WAGES ARE GROWING ON PAR WITH HOME PRICES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS, AND WITH MORE INVENTORY AVAILABLE, SPRING HOME SALES SHOULD HELP THE MARKET TO RECOVER FROM THE MALAISE OF THE LAST FEW MONTHS.”

FreddieMac.com, April 2019

[For some market observers, this view of the U.S. housing market is optimistic.]

Given the tepid housing demand of the past, higher interest rates and great demand on the market, this positive outlook is much like a breath of air. With a reduced need for traditional home loans, lenders have begun steering more and more towards “unconventional mortgages.” These mortgages may not require proof of income and might be offered to buyers despite their bad credit.

These types of high-interest mortgages have proven to be the cause of the financial housing crisis of 2007 – but in today’s market, they no longer seem to be such a threat. However, the dip in mortgage rate raises uncertainty among certain types of buyers.

Rates Deal Hot and Cold Blows to the Housing Market

Before mortgage rates dipped down, they increased almost by 5% in the second half of 2018. However, now that borrowing rates seem to be falling – and will likely stay this way for a while – there is new hope when it comes to the future of the housing market. Benjamin Keys, a Wharton real estate professor, sees it as a positive thing as the borrower demand will go up.

Things are still relatively uncertain – with brokers attempting to temper their cheer. House demand looks good, but at the same time, they might be brought down by the “shallow unemployment rate and the booming labor market,” as Keys says. Additionally, the positive signal of a lower mortgage finance rate has yet to show up in the latest buying trends.

Real estate economists are not yet sure which direction the U.S. housing market will take – for some, observing the ups and downs alone will provide insight. So far, this U.S. economic expansion seems rather promising for the housing market.

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