Real (Estate) Talk will aim to bring you information, tips, and trends on all things tied to the Home Loan Lending market. 2023 saw record breaking rate movements. Diane Roose, Senior Vice President Residential Loans, reviews the 2023 rate environment and provides insights on what to expect in 2024.
Bonus: Read Diane’s “Top 3 Barriers to Purchase” after the Rate Review. Don’t let rates, or any other barriers, stop you from achieving your homeownership goals.
- Rates continued to increase in 2023
Let’s go back to 2021. We saw very little movement that year with rates ending the year only .25% higher. 2022 and 2023 told a much different story. The 30-year rate at the beginning of 2022 was around 2.875%. That same 30-year rate, at the peak of rates in 2023, was showing around 7.500%. The last few months of 2023 saw 3 months of decreasing rates.
- Rates are projected to decrease throughout 2024
Good news! Current 2024 rate projections show that we will continue to see decreasing rates.
When the Fed hikes rates (Prime) it impacts short term rates like auto loans and credit cards. Over time this helps to lower inflation. Lower inflation numbers should help lower long-term rates.
- Expect rate fluctuations but an improving housing market
I love to travel, but one thing I always hope to avoid is turbulence. But over the course of the year, you can always expect some turbulent rate movements. Economic fluctuations, world politics, and even the threats of world conflict can impact rates. So while projections show decreases in 2024, it could still be a bumpy ride.
While we watch rates decline and start to level off, the housing market will slowly start to show signs of improving. Inventory is still low with people staying in homes longer (thank you to the 2020-2021 historically low interest rates) and new construction still slower than prior to the 2008-2010 recession.
With moderate gains to inventory and improving rates, home prices should start to stabilize in some markets.
BONUS: TOP 3 BARRIERS TO PURCHASE
Many potential buyers are unfortunately falling short of their homeownership dreams. Here are three areas that are hurting their ability to purchase their first home.
- Credit Scores
Credit scores still matter. The ability to make a house payment isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to getting approved for your purchase. If you haven’t been keeping up on other loans, credit cards, or even other bills, your credit score can impact your rate and even prevent you from obtaining a home loan. Review your credit score often when homeownership is a goal.
- Credit Card Spending Impact
Maxing out multiple credit cards lowers your credit score and can impact your Debt-to-Income ratios. Simplify and improve your credit usage by paying off credit card balances.
- Debt to Income-Spending Habits vs Future Homeownership
Review spending habits prior to buying a home. Will they change once you become a homeowner? There is a simple test you can do, to see if your current spending habits will allow for an easy transition to homeownership.
Homeownership Budget Test
- Meet with one of our home loan experts and determine an affordable home loan payment.
- Before you purchase, take that same amount and use it to either pay down debt, or place it in savings every month. Our home loan experts could even advise you on what strategy would be best!
- Test complete! If you can do that every month leading up to a home purchase, you know that your Homeownership Budget is comfortable and it matches your current spending habits. If you can’t do that, then examine where you are spending your money. From there you can either decide to spend less in certain areas or lower your projected purchase price (which could lower your home loan payment). Just because you are approved to purchase a home at a certain amount, doesn’t mean you should without reviewing and testing your Homeownership Budget!