In the last quarter of 2013, all indicators pointed to climbing mortgage rates in 2014. Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, predicted an end-of-year average rate of 5.4%. His forecast is based on the anticipation that the Fed will start to raise rates in 2015; however, we’re in the third quarter of 2014, and rates are actually lower than they were a year ago.
So, why are rates holding and not moving-up? Most believe it’s due to supply and demand. Freddie Mac’s Leonard Kiefer and Frank Nothalf explain, “The Federal Reserve did taper purchases of mortgaged-backed securities through quantitative easing, but the tapering occurred at the same time the volume of new mortgages started to drop, keeping rates stagnate.”
Additionally, Kiefer and Nothaft contribute the decline in mortgages to fewer refinancing and less first-time homebuyers in the market place and predict rates will rise again soon, probably accompanied by rosier job figures and rising inflation.
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