With the presidential election over, perspective new home buyers are hearing more speculation about interest rates being raised before President-elect Trump takes office in January.
While there is no across-the-board agreement on whether there will be an increase, experts who study the housing market and interest rates are leaning toward an eventual uptick in rates.
Also, with rates remaining at record lows – July’s 3.52 percent average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was just a dash higher than the all-time low rate of 3.5 percent in December 2012 – there could be pressure on the Federal Reserve to eventually boost rates to compensate.
With interest rates having a direct influence on real estate prices, many potential home buyers are now having to decide if they should wait or buy as soon as possible.
Travis Pavlik, an independent financial services recruiter and first-time home buyer, says the potential for rising rates played a factor in his decision to buy now.
“Even with the potential of higher rates negatively effecting real estate prices, I weighed the pros and cons of renting versus buying and still saw value in long-term Phoenix housing,” Pavlik said.
Doug Fulton, CEO of Tempe-based Fulton Homes, echoed that same sentiment, and is optimistic about home sales in 2017.
“Over the years we have found that rate hikes don’t have a huge effect on buyers wanting to purchase our homes,” Fulton says. “We expect our home sales to remain steady through the rest of the year and into the first quarter of 2017.”
A week after the election, total mortgage applications fell 9.2 percent from the previous week, according to CNBC.
Still, applications were 12-percent higher than at the same time a year ago. Also, with President-elect Trump’s plans to cut taxes and increase spending on infrastructure, many economic experts are predicting interest rates will rise faster than anticipated, according to Reuters.
“Even if interest rates do increase, the American dream of owning a home always remains within reach for our customers,” Fulton says.