2019 was the best year for mortgage rates since 2011, but what will the new year bring for the mortgage industry?
As we’ve seen throughout the second half of last year, fixed mortgage rates averaged less than 4%. Most economists speculate that rates will remain just south of the 4% mark for the remainder of the year, however, several factors could impact how long today’s low rates will last.
Firstly, the latest crisis with Iran could serve as a catalyst for a drop in 2020 as instability among foreign relations typically drives down long-term interest rates. Secondly, during election years, the Fed is typically reluctant to make any major moves and choose to remain on the sidelines as it relates to hikes or cuts. As long as rates hold steady, consumers are likely to begin the highly anticipated spring buying season earlier.
However, even if rates tick north of 4% as this monumental year unfolds, it’s still extremely attractive when compared to nearly 4.5% rates in early 2019. Despite somewhat low inventory, 2020 will remain an opportune year for first-time buyers, especially considering the positive combination of low rates, newly expanded loan limits, and numerous low down payment options available.
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