I have shared for the last six months my concerns about inflation, higher mortgage rates, and what all of this will mean to the housing and mortgage industries. I maintained the position of: “If you like it, LOCK IT” so everyone could avoid the unpleasant rise in rates that was before us. We have dealt with significant volatility on an almost daily basis, but sooner or later we had to break away from the bottom of the rate market in a meaningful way, and it appears that point has come.
Mortgage rates have gone up significantly since the beginning of the year as we have lost about (depending on which coupon you track) 200 bps and as treasuries continue to climb. The FED is painfully behind the curve as they finally had to admit inflation was real and that they were surprised by how bad things really were. The good news in all of this is that while we are not at the bottom of the rate market any longer and the flood of refinances are now gone; we have in front of us a strong purchase market and while rates and home prices drive monthly payments higher, RENTS are going up even faster in many markets. I have clients that are seeing 25% and higher rent increases in their markets, and that is quite the payment shock.
The winning strategy is to face and present the facts and show people how a simple Google search presents them with information. While mortgage rates in the high 3’s and low 4’s are certainly not as much fun as the mid 2’s; it’s not 18.45% with 2 points we saw in October of 1981 or 8% and 1 point in 2000; or 6% in 2008; or even 5% in 2010. We recently saw 4.5% with .5 point in 2018 and were solidly in the mid 4% range in May of 2019.
You need to share payment information in your price points and in your markets. You need to compare them to RENT payments for similar types of properties. You can even share the rising costs of gasoline, food, and other products that recent inflation has brought us and know that people can lock in their interest rate, cost of their house, and P&I payment when they buy today. Isn’t that WHY people use 30-year fixed rate mortgages, to lock in their P&I payment in the first place?
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