For the past few years, mortgage rates have reached – and remained at – historic lows. Between the low rates and federal stimulus incentives, millions of first-time buyers became homeowners and existing homeowners moved up.
That was then. What’s going on now? Like the stock market, it depends when you check.
The good news is that 30-year fixed-rate loans are still very low: 4.1 percent, according to USA Today on Thursday, Oct. 31. Yes, it’s a little higher than last year, but still a bargain compared to, for example, the 6.4 percent Freddie Mac reported in October 2008.
The more sobering news is that rates for 30-year, fixed-rate loans are expected to rise in 2014. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts 5 percent next year, and 5.3 percent by early 2015. None of this should come as a surprise, and buyers should keep the prospective hike in, well, perspective.
Rising interest rates are a sign of a strengthening economy. You’d be buying a house in a more economically stable environment, which is good news. The expected rise is slow and measured, and rates will remain a relative bargain.
The best person to talk to about ramifications of rising mortgage rates is your local RE/MAX agent. He or she can tell you about lending conditions for your area, and how interest rate fluctuations may affect your options.