Featured / Mortgage Advice

Interest Rates and the Housing Market in 2019

Carpe Diem! Strike while the iron is hot! Make hay while the sun shines! These timeless adages obviously stress a call to action. Good advice if you are a home buyer or considering a refinance in our current real estate market. Now is the time to act.

Interest rate projections from housing authorities such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors and the Home Builder Association, indicate inevitable increases during 2019 for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. This means it is critical to take advantage of the current market.

In 2018 alone, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates four times on the heels of several previous years with similar hikes. While Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell seemed to hint at fewer rate escalations this year (down from three or four to two), the overall direction of interest rates is up.

Even with these forecasts, there is good news. The general consensus among housing experts is that the 30-year fixed-term mortgage rate will remain in the low 5% range in 2019.

Despite geo-political and economic uncertainty from trade tensions and stock market volatility, the U.S. economy continues to grow, although at a slower pace. Housing prices will rise again, but not with the same level of appreciation as previous years. Residential inventory suggests tightness, particularly at the entry-level for first-time homebuyers.

So, what is the best path to homeownership in the 2019 market?

Position yourself for success by getting qualified. If needed, work on improving your credit, keep saving for that down payment and seek professional advice from reputable realtors and experienced mortgage professionals. Eligible buyers may want to consider purchasing sooner rather than later in this environment. Be prepared to move quickly when a desired home becomes available. A local Univest Home Loan representative can assist you with obtaining a pre-approval, an effective tool to differentiate you from other buyers.

Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, it appears that locking an interest rate today versus “playing the market” would be prudent. Contact us today at 877-723-5571 to learn more.

Univest Bank and Trust Co. is an Equal Housing Lender