This week was a great week for new properties hitting the market. Scrolling through the recent inventory, trying to pick my favorites, proved to be more challenging than it has been in the past. It was not only challenging to see how the market is and has been changing, but many buyers are also having a hard time wrapping their minds around the recent mortgage fluctuation.
Mortgage rates have been on a rollercoaster ride since the beginning of the year. They began the year with 3.34% and hit a high of 3.55%, breaking the 3.5% mark. Which, no matter how you slice it, is still pretty cheap. Older friends of mine have regaled me with tales of the early 1980s, when the prime interest rate was 16% and mortgages were going for upwards of 20%!
In other financial news, the much-feared and ballyhooed “Fiscal Cliff ” was avoided; the pending debt ceiling debate was shelved, and the U.S. economy has continued to show signs of improvement, led by housing and the jobs market. Additionally, the global economy appears to be on more solid footing, led by strong results in the Eurozone.
So what does all this mean for house hunters? It means that rates have gone up, and down, and have gone up again slowly since the fi rst of this year. As for what that portends for the future: most experts believe there will not be a huge increase in rates this year, but there probably won’t be a huge drop either. Plan on seeing the same up and down trend over this next year with a possible slow and steady increase in rates. In any case, rates haven’t been this low in decades; if you’re thinking of buying, you really should take advantage of them.