What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 19, 2202

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - December 19, 2202Last week’s economic reporting included readings on inflation, retail sales, and the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting.  Fed Chair Jerome  Powell held his scheduled post-meeting press conference and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Federal Reserve Raises Target Interest Rate Range

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee announced its decision to raise the Fed’s target interest rate range to 4.25 to 4.50 percent from its previous range of 3.75 to 4.00 percent.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in remarks made during his scheduled press conference, “We’re going into next year with higher inflation than we thought.” Seven Fed officials predicted rising interest rates with the Fed’s interest rate range potentially reaching 5.75 percent. Analysts said that the Fed’s position of controlling inflation at any cost could result in a recession. Chair Powell said it was impossible to predict if a recession would occur and how deep it might go and how long it could last. He repeated the Fed’s commitment to controlling high inflation.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims  Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower fixed mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by two basis points to 6.31 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by 13 basis points to 5.54 percent.

Initial jobless claims fell to 211,000 first-time claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 231,000 new jobless claims filed. Continuing jobless claims were reported as unchanged from the prior week with 167,000 ongoing unemployment claims filed.

The Commerce Department reported lower retail sales in November than in October. Retail sales decreased by -0.6 percent in November, which surpassed analysts’ estimates of -0.3 percent. Lower retail sales could suggest an impending recession as consumers hold back on paying rapidly rising prices for non-essential goods and services.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on U.S. housing markets and Commerce Department data on building permits issued and housing starts. Reports on sales of new and previously-owned homes and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

Why Banks Don’t Always Give The Best Interest Rate

Why Banks Don't Always Give The Best Interest RateIf you want to purchase a house, you will probably have to take out a mortgage. There are only a few people who have enough cash to purchase a house outright, so most will go to the bank for a loan. How do you know if the bank is giving you the best possible interest rate? Unfortunately, the bank does not always give you the best interest rate because the bank is looking for a way to make money. If they can get you to accept a higher interest rate, they will make more money on your home loan. What are some of the factors that dictate interest rates on loans, and how can you say money?

Bank Rates Are Dictated By Investors

In a lot of cases, mortgage rates are not necessarily dictated by banks, but they are dictated by investors. Many banks want to remove the risk of someone defaulting on their home loan, so they will sell the debt to an investor. This is a way for the banks to free up capital they can use to invest in other projects. Sometimes, the mortgage rates are dictated by the amount of money investors are willing to pay for this type of debt.

Interest Rates Are Always Forward-Looking

In other cases, banks will charge a higher interest rate because they are worried that rates will rise in the future. Essentially, the pricing on home loans right now is dictated by what banks think interest rates will be in the future. If the bank thinks that interest rates will go up, then it might raise interest rates now to hedge its risk. 

How You Can Get A Better Interest Rate

There are a few ways you can get the bank to give you a better interest rate. First, make sure your credit report is in order. Maximize your credit score to get a better interest rate. Then, make sure you have enough money to put down. The more money you put down, the lower the interest rate you will get. Finally, ask about discount points. You might be able to pay some of the interest upfront in exchange for a lower interest rate over the life of the loan. 

 

3 Reasons You Should Trust in a Mortgage Advisor Instead of Trying to Predict Rates

3 Reasons You Should Trust in a Mortgage Advisor Instead of Trying to Predict RatesIf the time has come to purchase a home and you’ve been perusing the real estate market, it’s possible you’ve also been considering the mortgage options that might work best for you. In the event that you’re already spending a lot of time looking at homes and trying to sell your own, here are a few reasons you may want to leave your mortgage considerations to a professional.

Qualifications You Can Count On

If you’re new to the world of home purchasing and have concerns about learning the ropes on your own, a mortgage advisor can be a great way to navigate the market and get the information you need without having to do all of the legwork. Because a mortgage advisor has to have the necessary qualifications to give you advice, they’ll be able to guide you through available options so you can find the product that is best suited for your financial situation.

A Knowledgeable Expert On Your Side

Between putting in offers on a home and dealing with lenders, it can often feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place, and getting squeezed financially. However, the ideal mortgage advisor will be someone who is there solely to assist you and provide you with viable options. Instead of a very specific set of options provided by the bank, an advisor will be able to identify products your lender might not suggest, which means you’ll have more options and a representative who will be able to recommend the best ones for you.

The Inside Scoop On The Industry

It’s the job of a mortgage advisor to be on top of the market, have a comprehensive knowledge of the products out there and be familiar with the lenders, so this means less research and a lot more expertise for you when it comes to any final mortgage decisions. Not only will they have the know-how in the industry you’re heading into, they’ll be aware of the information the lender requires and may be able to score you a better deal when the time to make a decision comes.

Finding the ideal lender for your mortgage can be a struggle in times where there are so many small details to deal with, but a mortgage advisor can work to simplify the process. If you’ll soon be applying for a mortgage and are considering your lender options, you may want to contact one of your local mortgage professionals for more information.

Everything Homeowners Need To Know About Down Payments

Everything Homeowners Need To Know About Down PaymentsBuying a house is an exciting time, but homeowners also need to make the best financial decision to meet their needs. One of the biggest decisions potential homeowners will face is how much money to put down.

A down payment is the amount of money that homeowners pay upfront when they purchase a home. Many homeowners believe they need to put down 20 percent; however, this is not always the case. What do homeowners need to know about putting a down payment on a house? 

20 Percent Is Not Always Required

The reason why homeowners often believe they need to put down 20 percent is that lenders will often require a 20 percent down payment to avoid paying PMI. PMI stands for private mortgage insurance. If a homeowner puts down less than 20 percent, the lender takes on significant risk if the homeowner defaults. Therefore, the lender may require the homeowner to purchase PMI to protect the lender against the risk of default.

Homeowners might be able to secure a loan with 10 percent down if they are willing to pay PMI. First-time home buyers might be able to secure a home loan with as little as 3.5 percent down if they go with an FHA loan.

The Relationship Between Down Payments And Interest Rates

Homeowners might want to put down more money to earn a lower interest rate. Securing a lower interest rate could save homeowners tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. If homeowners put down more money, the lender doesn’t take on as big of a risk. Therefore, the lender might be willing to charge a lower interest rate. 

Work With A Professional 

Ultimately, the size of the down payment is one of the biggest decisions potential homeowners have to make. It can take a long time to save up 20 percent for a home, but this is not always required. Homeowners need to know whether they need to pay PMI if they do not put 20 percent down, and they need to understand how the size of the down payment will impact the interest rate on a loan. It is a prudent idea to consult with a professional when deciding how much money to put down for a house.

Buying A Second Home As A First Home: What To Know

Buying A Second Home As A First Home: What To KnowMany first-time homebuyers are having a difficult time finding the right purchase. Therefore, a new trend is catching on. Some people are renting in the city, where property values are more expensive. Then, they buy a vacation home in the suburbs. Is it smart to buy a second home as a first home? 

The Advantages Of Buying A Vacation Home First

There are several advantages that come with buying a vacation home as a first home. First, buying a vacation home in the suburbs is usually less expensive than purchasing a house in the city. Furthermore, first-time homeowners can rent out their vacation homes the majority of the time, helping them cover monthly mortgage payments. Then, as the value of the vacation home rises, first-time homeowners build equity they can use to purchase a more expensive home in the city later. This can also help people save money on the cost of a vacation. 

Interest Rates On Vacation Homes Might Be Higher

At the same time, interest rates on vacation homes might be higher. Homeowners interested in getting the best interest rates need to live in the home they are buying. If they are not living in that specific home, lenders may charge a higher interest rate. Furthermore, first-time homeowners might have to put more money down to qualify for that loan. 

Managing A Vacation Home

First-time homeowners also have to think about how they will bring in rental income. It might be helpful to work with a property management company that can handle this from start to finish. Or, services such as VRBO or Airbnb might be helpful. Homeowners need to have a plan for how to maximize rental income. The more the home is rented out, the easier it will be to afford the mortgage payments.

Have An Emergency Fund Set Aside

First-time homeowners still need to have an emergency fund set aside for the vacation home. What happens if the roof needs a repair? What happens if the HVAC system has to be replaced? Homeowners need to think carefully about how they can cover these expenses. Not all of them are covered by home insurance, and some of them can cost thousands of dollars. 

 

FOMC Statement: Fed Predicts 2 Interest Rate Hikes in 2023

FOMC Statement: Fed Predicts 2 Interest Rate Hikes in 2023The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve said in its post-meeting statement that the Federal Reserve expects to raise its benchmark interest rate range twice during 2023. No rate changes will be made during 2022 as the economy continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Fed’s current interest rate range is 0.00 to 0.25 percent.

Fed Expects “Transitory” Inflation

The Fed’s post-meeting FOMC statement said that although Committee members adjusted their forecast for raising the Fed’s benchmark interest rate range, members did not predict long-term inflation and described current upward inflation as “transitory.”

The Consumer Price Index reported that the cost of living jumped in May and drove inflationary growth to a 13-year high of five percent.

11 of 18 FOMC members currently expect two or more rate hikes in 2023; in March, seven members expected one rate hike in 2023. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said that the Fed needs to reconsider its monetary policies based on the two stimulus payments provided to Americans. The Fed has held its benchmark interest rate range to 0.00 to 0.25 percent and continued its monthly purchases of $80 billion in Treasurys and $40 billion in Mortgage-Backed Securities in efforts to support the economy and stabilize financial markets.

The Committee will follow economic news and developments through readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation, and financial and global news to determine monetary policy adjustments.

Fed Chair Suggests Future Tapering of Bond Purchases

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in his post-FOMC meeting press conference that members had their first discussion of tapering the Fed’s bond purchases. Although the Fed has indicated it wants to see “substantial further progress” in the economy before it starts to taper its bond purchases, analysts expected further discussion of tapering bond purchases in FOMC’s July meeting. Reducing bond purchases is considered the first step in moderating the Fed’s accommodative stance on monetary policy.

Chair Powell said that the FOMC will continue to develop monetary policy in consideration of the FOMC’s dual mandate of achieving maximum and an annual inflation rate of two percent over the longer term. Inflation has run below two percent for some time before the pandemic; so a current inflation rate running above two percent would help raise the average inflation rate to the two percent requirement.  

The unemployment rate is improving as businesses and other employers open their doors and restore service to full capacity. Chair Powell cautioned that the economy remains strongly connected to how the Covid-19 virus progresses and said that monetary policy would be adjusted according to how the pandemic impacts the economy.

Deciding Whether To Move or Refinance: Which Is The Better Option?

Deciding Whether To Move or Refinance: Which Is The Better Option?There are a lot of people who are wondering if now is the right time to move or refinance their current home loan. With interest rates still favorable, a lot of homeowners have the potential to save a lot of money if they are able to secure a home loan with a lower interest rate. There are two ways homeowners can secure a home loan with a lower interest rate. The first is to refinance. The second is to move. Which option is better? There are a few key points to keep in mind.

Taking A Closer Look At Refinancing

There are a lot of homeowners who have an abundance of equity currently built up in their homes, making this a great time to refinance. With a refinance, there are multiple options available. Some homeowners might refinance to access the equity in their homes, allowing them to complete a project. Some homeowners might refinance in an effort to pay off their home loan sooner. If homeowners are trying to access more equity, or are trying to shorten the term of the loan, then refinancing might be the smart move.

Looking At The Option Of Moving

The other option is to get a new home loan entirely by moving. This is an attractive option for homeowners who might have a dream house they would like to move to. In particular, any homeowner who currently has a home loan with a high interest rate should consider moving into their dream home now. Because mortgage rates are low right now, this is a chance for homeowners to move into a larger house while keeping their mortgage payments the same or less by obtaining a lower interest rate.

Every Situation Is Different

In the end, every situation is different. Because interest rates right now are so low, now could be the time for homeowners to consider moving or refinancing. Switching to a home loan with a lower interest rate could save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Anyone with questions or concerns should reach out to a professional for help.

3 Reasons Why the Lowest Mortgage Interest Rate Isn’t Always Your Best Option

3 Reasons Why the Lowest Mortgage Interest Rate Isn't Always Your Best Option One of the more common methods that home loan applicants use to find the best loan program available is to compare interest rates, but choosing the lowest rate possible is not always the best option available. In fact, in some cases, it may be one of the least advantageous options when all factors are considered. With a closer look, home mortgage applicants may decide to review other factors in combination with the interest rate to make a more informed decision when applying for a new loan.

The Closing Costs Impact The Rate

It is important to note that lenders can increase or decrease the interest rate with adjustments to closing costs, and this means that some of the lowest interest rates available may also have some of the higher closing costs. In some situations, choosing the lowest interest and paying more in closing costs is acceptable. However, a loan applicant should be aware of this and should compare interest rates along with closing costs in order to find the best loan program available.

The Loan Term Affects The Rate

Generally, a shorter loan term will have a lower interest rate. However, even with the lower interest rate, the mortgage payment may be higher due to the shorter term. A higher mortgage payment can impact affordability as well as loan qualification in some cases, and there are instances when the higher interest rate associated with a longer term is most desirable.

The Interest Rate May Adjust

Adjustable rate mortgages typically have lower interest rates than fixed rate mortgages, but the interest rate with an ARM may adjust higher in the future. For those who only plan to own the home or to retain the mortgage for a short period of time, this may be acceptable and even desirable. However, for those who plan to own the home or retain the mortgage for a longer period of time, the potential for a rate adjustment in the future may not be preferable.

For individuals who are shopping around to compare interest rates and to find the best deal on a mortgage, there may be a desire to opt for the lowest interest rate, but this is not always the best strategy. The interest rate can reflect many aspects of the loan, and each of these points should be analyzed to find the best loan program. A mortgage broker can provide assistance comparing loan terms and helping loan applicants determine which is the best solution for their needs.

An Overview Of Mortgage Points On Home Loans

An Overview Of Mortgage Points On Home LoansUnless someone works in the real estate or mortgage industry, there is a high likelihood that they are going to run into unfamiliar terms. Appraisals, underwriting, and private mortgage insurance are a few of the examples. One of the most common terms that people might run into is termed mortgage points. Even though the term “points” might sound positive, this is not always the case. What do people need to know about mortgage points? 

Mortgage Points Refer To Payments Due At Signing

When someone is negotiating for a home loan, they want to get the lowest interest rate possible. There are several ways that potential homeowners can get the interest rate reduced on their home loan. One option might be to increase the down payment. Another option might be to pay a percentage of the loan amount at signing.

Usually, mortgage points refer to a certain percentage of the loan amount that is due at signing. For example, someone who is being charged one mortgage point will pay 1 percent of the loan amount at signing. Why would someone want to pay a percentage of their loan early? 

Mortgage Points Are Usually Paid In Exchange For A Lower Interest Rate

The most common reason why someone might pay mortgage points upfront is that they can bargain for a lower interest rate. For example, someone might be able to pay one mortgage point in exchange for having the interest rate on the rest of the loan dropped by 0.25 percent. Therefore, points go both ways. It is nice that someone can pay mortgage points to have the interest rate lowered on their loan; however, is this the correct decision? 

Borrowers Have To Do Some Math

Ultimately, this comes down to a math equation. If a potential homeowner is forking over more money at signing, they are not going to be able to earn interest on that money in their bank account or the stock market. On the other hand, they will save money over the life of the loan because the interest rate will be reduced. Therefore, homeowners have to do some math and compare the interest they are losing by paying money upfront compared to the interest they are saving on the home loan.

 

Variable-Rate VS. Fixed-Rate Mortgages – Which Is Better For Your Financial Situation?

Variable-rate Vs. Fixed-rate Mortgages - Which is Better for Your Financial Situation? When applying for a new home mortgage, many loan applicants initially consider applying for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. This is perhaps the most common and traditional type of mortgage available. It allows you to enjoy the opportunity to pay for your home over the course of 30 years with equal payments every month. While this is one option, there are actually multiple choices available. For some applications, a variable rate mortgage may be more advantageous. If you are comparing the options between a fixed rate and a variable rate mortgage, you may consider a few points.

A Lower Initial Interest Rate

When you compare the fixed rate and variable rate options, you will immediately notice that the variable rates have a lower start rate. The interest rate will influence the mortgage payment amount. Because of this, you will benefit from a lower initial mortgage payment with a variable rate. However, it is important to understand that the interest rate on a variable rate mortgage will adjust periodically over the life of the loan. This means that the mortgage payment will also adjust.

Managing A Potential Rate Adjustment

The true benefit of a fixed rate mortgage is the ability to better control your budget and manage your funds. A mortgage payment can be a large expense item in your budget, and it may be the largest single expense you have by far. An increase to your variable rate and therefore your mortgage payment can be difficult to bear if you have a tight budget with no wiggle room. In some cases, the rate may go beyond what is affordable for a homeowner to endure. If you do take on a variable rate loan, it is important that you understand what the highest possible interest rate adjustment is and what your payment may be with that rate. If you can manage that payment, then you may confidently apply for a variable rate mortgage.

If you are thinking about applying for a mortgage, it is important that you consider all of the options carefully and that you understand the key differences between them. You can speak with a mortgage loan officer or lending representative in detail to get more information about the options available to you. This can help you to make a better decision about your mortgage application and to better plan and budget for your future as a homeowner.