How do interest rate increases really impact real estate decisions?

As this month brought word that the Federal Reserve had lifted the benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter of a percent, the doom-and-gloom scenarios began spinning in real estate offices across the country. If the real estate industry has benefitted from record low interest rates, then rising rates will depress the industry, right? Well, the answer might not be so simple.

Is it a good time to buy or sell? Economists say no need to fear rate hike

While some may be concerned about rising mortgage rates, First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming says there’s no need for alarm. According to the latest Potential Home Sales Model report, the housing market could handle a 30-year, fixed-mortgage ra…

The Fed raised interest rates 0.25%, the second hike this year

The Federal Reserve increased its short-term interest rate from 1.75 percent to 2 percent Wednesday, the second rate hike to take place this year. In a press release, the central bank said the rise is due to a robust labor market and solid economic act…

Americans’ biggest homebuying fear? Not finding a place they like

A survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia asked respondents: “If you were to buy a home this year, what would you be most worried about? The results revealed that nearly 30 percent Americans are worried they won’t find a house they like, co…

Quiz: How smart are you about mortgage interest rates?

Every agent needs a clear understanding of how mortgage interest rates work and the effect they have on the cost of homeownership. As talk of recession, deflation, stagflation and negative rates continue to increase, we are entering a period where your…

After several years of working against each other, global central banks are cornered

This week we got the usual run of ambiguous economic data and a no-action Fed meeting. Nobody expected the Fed to raise its rate, so all is ho-hum. But — not ho-hum. Not at all. On the surface, in plain sight, a very big story, but too technical for n…

Will mortgage rates fall in 2016?

Here we go again. Another year lies ahead and with it the widespread view that mortgage rates will surely climb. After all, the Federal Reserve has started to increase the rate banks pay to borrow funds overnight, and the economy appears stronger. So i…

Leigh Brown: What does the increase in the Fed rate actually mean?

As Realtors, our job is to educate our clients, and that means learning about things that aren’t in your wheelhouse. A 0.25 basis point move is not enough to significantly change interest rates. Could they move? Sure. Should they move? Yes. We have a w…