The Federal Reserve this week voted to keep its benchmark interest rate at close to zero. The move should help ensure the cost of home loans remains down, long enough for the economy to begin its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said.

The Fed also said it’s extending its credit and lending initiatives until the end of 2020 to make it easier for people to obtain a Boston condo loan.

The Fed’s key benchmark rate is not directly tied to mortgage rates, but it often indirectly influences them.

The Fed and Covid-19

The Federal Reserve said it’s closely monitoring the economic impact of the pandemic.

“The coronavirus outbreak is causing tremendous human and economic hardship,” the Fed said in a statement. “The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a video press conference on Wednesday that any prospect of recovery is “extraordinarily uncertain” and that the Fed is “not even thinking about raising rates”.

“We’re stepping in to provide credit at a time when the market has stopped functioning,” he added.

The Fed also said it will use its full range of tools in support of the economy.

The Fed may also step up its purchases of Treasury bonds and MBSs to push long-term rates even lower, analysts have speculated.

Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line

This all good news for the Boston real estate market,

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