As the Federal Reserve continues to taper quantitative easing measures, financial experts project mortgage interest rates will climb in the next two years. Could this be the much awaited ray of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for builders and investors or will it drive hesitant home buyers to dig in and shelter in place?
Homeowners who are vacillating between refinancing for a lower interest rate and staying the course may find the time has come to make a decision.
Shrinking unemployment numbers and rising retail sales figures signal that the economy is improving. Even if no one is ready to label the US economy as recovered, Fed Chairman Janet Yellon’s decision to follow through on tapering plans reinforces other market indicators that the economy is gaining strength.
What’s The Next Move
Bob Moulton, president of Americana Mortgage, told BankRate that people thinking of buying in the next year should move quickly if they find a property they like. Inventory is still fairly tight. Although there is no guarantee that rates will suddenly escalate, Moulton recommends locking in a property as soon as possible.
Harris Interactive reported that 39% of homeowners who planned to invest in renovations to increase property values in 2013 did not follow through with their plans. If upgrades and renovations are on the agenda, homeowners should evaluate how a 1% or 2% increase in interest rates will affect their budget.
Mortgage rates are still historically low based on the average over the past couple of decades. As the economy strengthens and mortgage lenders lose a steady stream of customers seeking home equity loans, less-stringent lending requirements emerge.
Forbes reported that as much as 80% of mortgage activity in late 2012 was refinancing applications. Consumers with lower credit scores and budgetary constraints have a better chance of securing a loan with a higher rate.
Refinance Or Pay Down The Mortgage
Deciding whether to refinance or pay down the mortgage quicker is tricky for some homeowners. Cost of financing isn’t the only consideration. It is essential to consider long-term goals and risks. If doubling up on the mortgage compromises retirement planning, it defeats the purpose. Likewise, refinancing to gain a lower interest rate within one or two years of plans to sell the home would probably produce insignificant financial gains.