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Boston condo buyers need to understand how inflation and mortgage rates impacts you.

Boston Condos for Sale and Apartments for Rent

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Boston condo buyers need to understand how inflation and mortgage rates impacts you.

When you read about the housing market in the news, you might see something about a recent decision made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But how does this decision affect you and your plans to buy a home? Here’s what you need to know.

The Fed is trying hard to reduce inflation. And even though there’s been 12 straight months where inflation has cooled (see graph below), the most recent data shows it’s still higher than the Fed’s target of 2%: 

20230803 Inflation Continues Moderating

While you may have been hoping the Fed would stop their hikes since they’re making progress on their goal of bringing down inflation, they don’t want to stop too soon, and risk inflation climbing back up as a result. Because of this, the Fed decided to increase the Federal Funds Rate again last week. As Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Fed, says:

We remain committed to bringing inflation back to our 2 percent goal and to keeping longer-term inflation expectations well anchored.”

Greg McBride, Senior VP, and Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains how high inflation and a strong economy play into the Fed’s recent decision:

Inflation remains stubbornly high. The economy has been remarkably resilient, the labor market is still robust, but that may be contributing to the stubbornly high inflation. So, Fed has to pump the brakes a bit more.”

Even though a Federal Fund Rate hike by the Fed doesn’t directly dictate what happens with mortgage rates, it does have an impact. As a recent article from Fortune says:

“The federal funds rate is an interest rate that banks charge other banks when they lend one another money . . . When inflation is running high, the Fed will increase rates to increase the cost of borrowing and slow down the economy. When it’s too low, they’ll lower rates to stimulate the economy and get things moving again.”

How All of This Affects You 

In the simplest sense, when inflation is high, mortgage rates are also high. But, if the Fed succeeds in bringing down inflation, it could ultimately lead to lower mortgage rates, making it more affordable for you to buy a home.

This graph helps illustrate that point by showing that when inflation decreases, mortgage rates typically go down, too (see graph below): 

20230803 Mortgage Rates Follow Behind Inflation

As the data above shows, inflation (shown in the blue trend line) is slowly coming down and, based on historical trends, mortgage rates (shown in the green trend line) are likely to follow. McBride says this about the future of mortgage rates:

“With the backdrop of easing inflation pressures, we should see more consistent declines in mortgage rates as the year progresses, particularly if the economy and labor market slow noticeably.”

Bottom Line

What happens to mortgage rates depends on inflation. If inflation cools down, mortgage rates should go down too. Let’s talk so you can get expert advice on housing market changes and what they mean for you.

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If you’re reading headlines about inflation or mortgage rates, you may see something about the recent decision from the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But what does it mean for you, the Boston condo for sale market, and your plans to buy a home? Here’s what you need to know.

Inflation and the Boston Condo for Sale Market

While the Fed’s working hard to lower inflation, the latest data shows that, while the number has improved some, the inflation rate is still higher than the target (2%). That played a role in the Fed’s decision to raise the Federal Funds Rate last week. As Bankrate explains:

Keeping its inflation-fighting streak alive, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the 10th time in 10 meetings . . . The hikes aimed to cool an economy that was on fire after rebounding from the coronavirus recession of 2020.” 

While the Fed’s actions don’t directly dictate what happens with mortgage rates, their decisions do have an impact and contributed to the intentional cooldown in the housing market last year. 

How This Impacts You 

During times of high inflation, your everyday expenses go up. That means you’ve likely felt the pinch at the gas pump and in the grocery store. By raising the Federal Funds Rate, the Fed is actively trying to lower inflation. If the Fed is successful, it could also ultimately lead to lower mortgage rates and better homebuying affordability for you. That’s because when inflation is high, mortgage rates tend to be high. But, as inflation cools, experts say mortgage rates will likely fall.

Where Experts Think Mortgage Rates and Inflation Will Go from Here

Moving forward, both inflation and mortgage rates will continue to impact the housing market. And as Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

Mortgage rates are likely to descend lower later in the year as the consumer price inflation calms down . . .” 

Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains

“We continue to expect that mortgage rates will drift down over the course of the year as the economy slows . . .”

While there’s no way to say with certainty where mortgage rates will go from here, the experts think mortgage rates will trend down this year if inflation comes down too. To stay informed on the latest insights, connect with a trusted real estate advisor. They keep their pulse on what’s happening today and help you understand what the experts are projecting and how it could impact your homeownership plans.

 Boston Condos for Sale and the Bottom Line

Don’t let headlines about the latest decision from the Fed confuse you. Where mortgage rates go from here depends on what happens with inflation. If inflation cools, mortgage rates should tick down as a result. Let’s connect so you have expert insights on housing market changes and what they mean for you.

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If you’re following today’s Boston condo for sale market, you know two of the top issues Boston condo buyers face are inflation and mortgage rates. Let’s examine both.

How does inflation impact the Boston condo for sale market?

This year, inflation reached a high not seen in forty years. For the average consumer, you probably felt the pinch at the gas pump and in the grocery store. It may have even impacted your ability to save money to buy a Boston condo for sale.

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Boston condos for sale

How is the Fed trying to lower inflation?

While the Federal Reserve is working hard to lower inflation, the August data shows the inflation rate was still higher than expected. This news impacted the stock market and fueled conversations about a recession. It also played a role in the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise the Federal Funds Rate last week. As Bankrate says:

“. . . the Fed has raised rates again, announcing yet another three-quarter-point hike on September 21 . . . The hikes are designed to cool an economy that has been on fire. . .”

While their actions don’t directly dictate what happens with mortgage rates, their decisions have contributed to the intentional cooldown in the housing market. A recent article from Fortune explains:

“As the Federal Reserve moved into inflation-fighting mode, financial markets quickly put upward pressure on mortgage rates. Those elevated mortgage rates . . . coupled with sky-high home prices, threw cold water onto the housing boom.”

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Boston condominiums

Where are Boston condos mortgage rates today?

Over the past few months, mortgage rates have fluctuated in light of growing economic pressures. Most recently, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate according to Freddie Mac ticked above 6% for the first time in well over a decade (see graph below):

How are rising mortgage rates impacting the Boston condo for sale market?

The mortgage rate increases this year are the big reason why Boston condo buyer demand has pulled back in recent months. Basically, as rates (and home prices) rose, so did the cost of buying a Boston condo for sale. That pushed on affordability, and priced some buyers out of the market, so home sales slowed and the inventory of homes for sale grew as a result.

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Boston condos

Where are Rates and Inflation Going from Here?

Moving forward, both of these factors will continue to impact the housing market. A recent article from CNET puts the relationship between inflation and mortgage rates in simple terms:

“As a general rule, when inflation is low, mortgage rates tend to be lower. When inflation is high, rates tend to be higher.”

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, has this to say about where rates may go from here:

“Mortgage rates remained volatile due to the tug of war between inflationary pressures and a clear slowdown in economic growth. The high uncertainty surrounding inflation and other factors will likely cause rates to remain variable, . . .”

While there’s no way to say with certainty where mortgage rates will go from here, there is something you can do to stay informed, and that’s connect with a trusted real estate advisor. They keep their pulse on what’s happening today and help you understand what the experts are projecting. They can provide you with the best advice possible.

U.S. mortgage interest rates jump to 6.52%, highest since mid-2008

Rising inflation and higher mortgage rates have had a clear impact on the Boston condo market. For expert insights on the latest trends in the housing market and what they mean for you, let’s connect.

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