How Inflation Influences Mortgage Rates
When it comes to the housing market and your plans to buy a home, understanding the impact of decisions made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed) is crucial. The Fed is actively working to reduce inflation, even though there has been a recent cooling of inflation over the last 12 months. However, inflation still remains above the Fed's target of 2%.
The Fed's goal is to avoid stopping their rate hikes prematurely, as it could lead to a resurgence of inflation. As a result, the Fed recently decided to increase the Federal Funds Rate. Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Fed, emphasizes their commitment to bringing inflation back to the 2% target and anchoring longer-term inflation expectations.
Although a Federal Funds Rate hike doesn't directly determine mortgage rates, it does have an impact. When inflation is high, the Fed raises rates to increase borrowing costs and slow down the economy. Conversely, when inflation is low, they lower rates to stimulate economic growth.
For you, as a homebuyer, this means that when inflation is high, mortgage rates are also high. However, if the Fed successfully reduces inflation, it could lead to lower mortgage rates, making homeownership more affordable.
Historical trends show that as inflation decreases, mortgage rates tend to follow suit. As inflation eases, mortgage rates are likely to decline as well. Greg McBride, a financial analyst, predicts that with easing inflation pressures, mortgage rates should gradually decrease as the year progresses, particularly if there's a noticeable slowdown in the economy and labor market.
In conclusion, understanding the relationship between inflation and mortgage rates is essential for making informed decisions about buying a home. By working with a trusted real estate professional, you can stay informed about changes in the housing market and how they might affect your plans.