Do you hear what I hear?
It is rare in our industry for everyone to be having the same conversation. So many people and businesses are involved in the housing market that there is always something new to discuss or a different viewpoint of an archaic rule. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty happening out there, but you can’t look anywhere right now without hearing the same thing…rates are up, and they don’t seem to be going down anytime soon. Freddie Mac announced yesterday “The 30-year fixed mortgage rate edged up to 4.61 percent, which matches the highest level since May 19, 2011.”
Since entering the industry in 2010, I have almost exclusively worked in a declining rates market. There have been bumps here and there, but for the most part rates slowly declined over the years and have held around 4%. Rates have slowly been on the rise, but the pace seems to be picking up. Rates have increased 80 bps since September, and 20 bps over the past month alone. With this shift in the market, we need to ask ourselves how we adjust to the new trend. No longer will we be able to assume that interest rates will generally remain the same or (worst case) increase a few bps.
Borrowers may already be letting us know what the market shift means for us…get moving. According to Redfin, homes are selling faster than ever before. In a report yesterday, Redfin said that homes sold last month went under contract in 36 days…that is 6 days faster than the same time last year and the fastest since they have been keeping records. The same report also shows the average sale-to-list price at 98.8% and median home price exceeding 300,000, also the highest rate on record for both. Borrowers are starting to catch on to the rise in rates and it is causing them to make decisions faster than ever before.
While I don’t see rates climbing to the 18.63% average in 1981 anytime soon, we will likely see rates continue to rise. Homeowners are spending more and buying faster than ever before, and the mortgage industry needs to meet that need. A fear of an increased rate will force borrowers to be more involved in the loan process and make sure the loan is going to meet that rate lock. I expect to see an increase in the sense of urgency across the industry as everyone catches on to the fact that we need to, as Brandon our Underwriting Manager puts it, “Get Moving!”
The opinions expressed in this post are the sole view of the writer and do not reflect the opinion of Princeton Mortgage Corporation.
Photo by Antonis Spiridakis on Unsplash