We can’t predict all that may be in store for housing and interest rates, yet as the year gets underway, a few lingering factors may continue to influence markets through the new year.
Plummeting Oil Prices:
Energy prices fell in 2015, and many experts believe they will drop further still. The impact is mixed for the nation’s housing markets. In many energy-producing regions, housing prices have suffered. Overall, low gas and oil prices can help keep inflation at bay, and that’s typically good for mortgage rates.
Economic concerns and political crises in Europe, Asia and the Middle East combined to help keep U.S. mortgage rates low in 2015. Uncertainty often drives investors out of stocks and into bonds. More demand for bonds can help prevent rising rates.
2015 was filled with anticipation of a rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. The money policy committee finally acted in December with a quarter-percent increase for short term rates. Mortgage markets had already anticipated the change, and the response was minimal. The Fed is hinting at more hikes in 2016.
I hope this brief overview has helped you understand some of the many factors that impact mortgage rates and the housing market. Don’t worry, though—I follow these every day so you don’t have to.
If you or anyone you know would like to explore current opportunities, please give me a call. I’ll be happy to help.