Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chicago's Mortgage Choice - January 12, 2016 Real Estate Report - So The Fed Increased Rates

Many analysts weighed in regarding the "after-effects" of the first rate increase by the Federal Reserve in almost a decade. At least initially, these predictions seem to be bearing out. For example, according to Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, interest rates should remain at “historically low levels” throughout 2016, in spite of whatever moves the Federal Reserve is expected to make. “We take the Fed at its word that monetary tightening in 2016 will be gradual, and we expect only a modest increase in longer-term rates,” Becketti said. “Mortgage rates will tick higher but remain at historically low levels in 2016.” Yes, we experienced the first increase in the prime rate of banks in almost a decade. But with regard to long-term rates, these rates have barely moved in the weeks after the Fed's action. The rate on the 10-year Treasury note averaged 2.26 in November. On January 5, the rate was 2.25. Of course, world events have intervened to help lower rates as well. Keep in mind that if the Fed continues to raise short-term rates in 2016, it is expected that long-term rates will eventually drift upwards. This would include an increase in rates on home loans. However, though many are expecting more increases, intervening events around the world may very well tie the hands of the Fed with regard to their ability to move as quickly as some are predicting. Domestically, the most recent employment report released Friday is a good indicator of future activity absent of such world influences. The increase in jobs of almost 300,000 was another sign of strength, and it will help bolster the Fed's plans. The message? Though rates are low right now, those who wait too long to purchase a home may be paying a higher price for that home and higher financing rates as well. Keith Stewart - 773-529-7000